TRIBUTES have been paid to a former cricket professional and “one of the greatest all-rounders of the Bolton Cricket League”.

Jimmy Berry died peacefully on December 5 in hospital.

The 77-year-old was dad to Paul and Jackie, a loved brother to Susan and brother-in-law to Tom.

Jimmy lived in Little Hulton early in his life before the family moved to Walkden.

He was well-known in Bolton for his sporting exploits which were seen when he went to Farnworth Grammar School and won trophies for cross-country running.

However, he also excelled moving from the junior ranks at Walkden CC to taking a spot on the first team.

Sister Susan spoke of her pride of having Jimmy as her brother.

She said: “He was a very quiet person but was mad about his cricket from being a little boy.

“All he wanted for Christmas was a cricket bat and ball.

“He went to Farnworth Grammar and he was a smashing runner and my mum Bessie was so proud of him with all his trophies in the front room.”

He played for Walkden CC, then was the professional for St Andrews in Walkden and had a spell at Astley Bridge too.

Bolton Cricket League officials posted on their social media about the sad news of his passing.

Jimmy took more than 500 wickets in the league while also playing football for Walkden Town FC.

His cousin Brian Hindle, who played cricket with Jimmy, said: “He loved his cricket and won the Hamer Cup in 1980 and we played Horwich RMI at Westhoughton CC.

“More than 1,000 people watched the game and Horwich were top of the league and we were bottom.

“We beat them by two runs and that was one of his highlights.

“He was a bowler but he was one of the best all-rounders in the Bolton League.

“There was a lot of players who helped in the building of the club at Walkden and he was one of them.

“He was also a good footballer too and I can remember him playing for Walkden Town in the Hospital Cup finals at Burnden Park.”

James worked at CIS in Manchester where he was a computer programmer.

Susan added: “James loved to go on holidays abroad especially to Spain and Turkey.

“He was just a great person who would never have an argument with anyone.

“We were very close and I am just so proud of him.”

Jimmy’s funeral Service to take place on January 10 at Overdale Crematorium West Chapel at 12noon. Family flowers only please, donations if desired direct to The Christie Hospital.

All enquiries to the Co-op Funeralcare, Farnworth & Walkden, Tel 573280.