I WAS saddened to read of the death of former Lancashire cricketer Harry Pilling, aged 69. Just 5ft 3in tall, Harry was a prolific run-scorer, though he never quite made the England team. He would have been a definite for the 20/20 team.

His obituary might have brought a tinge of sadness followed by a cup of coffee.

However, just as when Nat Lofthouse died, I thought of what Harry represented in sport.

Competitiveness, modesty, sportsmanship and humour.

It is what kept me playing sport at my less than average level for many years.

It is a lack of the above which has, with little effort, enabled me to turn my back on many aspects of modern sport, including paying and watching.

Standards are much higher.

However, the arrogance, remoteness and selfishness of modern sport helped me realise there is always something else to do. Thank goodness the summer Olympics revealed something of true sport. I hate it when people talk of “old fashioned values”. Good sportsmanship is not dated, it is everlasting.

Sport is not an exhibition, it is tough, physical, competitive. Like all the best sports stars, Harry Pilling let his cricket exploits do his talking.

In an area when cricket earnings stopping in winter, Harry had many close-season jobs , including coalman, coffin salesman and labourer.

Who knows, should football’s fortunes collapse, that might be Rooney or Ronaldo emptying your fortnightly bin!

David Sharples Tarbet Drive Brieghtment