Earby legend Jack dies (85)

Earby CC 1st XI 1959 - League & Cup Winners'Back (from left): Jack Cross, Jack Taylor, Clifford Read, Garth Waren (Professional), Eric Luty, Glen Newsholme.'Front (from Left): Billy Brown, Fred Foster, Leonard Duxbury (Captain), Donald Moore, Alwyn Pratt.
Earby CC 1st XI 1959 - League & Cup Winners'Back (from left): Jack Cross, Jack Taylor, Clifford Read, Garth Waren (Professional), Eric Luty, Glen Newsholme.'Front (from Left): Billy Brown, Fred Foster, Leonard Duxbury (Captain), Donald Moore, Alwyn Pratt.

Former Earby school headmaster and veteran of the town’s cricket club, Mr Jack Cross, died suddenly last week.

Mr Cross (85), on the far left of the picture with Earby’s 1959 league and cup double winning side, had been watching a Derbyshire v Lancashire 2nd XI cricket match in his adopted home town of Glossop only hours before he collapsed and died last Monday evening.

After watching the game with his wife, Barbara, he was taken ill and collapsed in his home just yards from the cricket ground’s boundary.

“It had been a very pleasant day in beautiful weather and Jack met many old friends. He was taken ill when we returned home and later collapsed, the ambulance crew came and did all they could,” Barbara said.

Jack was born and brought up in Cowgill Street, Earby, just yards from the town’s cricket field and his father was an official of the club.

He became a member when he was seven years of age and continued to be involved with the club throughout his life.

Mr Cross was a player, club official and later became an umpire in the Ribblesdale League before becoming league secretary for several years.

He was later involved in the game at County Level and was chairman of the Development Committee of the Lancashire Cricket Board.

He attended New Road School in Earby before going on to Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton.

From there he was called up just before the end of the Second World War to serve with the RAF.

After leaving the Air Force he started his teaching career, beginning with a period of work at his old Earby School under the headmaster, Archie Clegg.

He went on to train at Leeds City Teacher Training College before getting a job at the Parish Church School in Skipton.

Mr Cross later got a job back teaching at Earby under the headmaster Mr Claire followed by a period as Deputy Head at Greetland, near Halifax.

Returning to West Craven he became headmaster at Gisburn village school, starting in the severe winter of January 1963, when pupils arrived by sledge for their lessons.

Four years later he became headmaster at Earby after the junior school moved to Alder Hill school. He completed his career as headmaster of Greatwood School in Skipton, retiring in 1986.

However, he continued to support young people and volunteered at Earby Primary School and was chairman of the school Governors. He was also a member of Earby Town Council for several years.

Jack is survived by his wife Barbara daughters Liz and Sue, son-in-law Mark and grandchildren Daniel and Hannah.