Very sadly Alan West, our former Committee Member, Secretary and Chairman for five years, and 1st XI Lancashire Scorer died on Sunday 28th September 2014. Members of his family were with him at the time.
Alan had spent a full and successful career in education before the opportunity to score for his home county came along in 1998. He proved to be the ideal man for the job, good-humoured, conscientious and thorough in all that he did.
For most of his early years cricket had played a huge part in his life: as a young man he had played league cricket regularly and he became involved for many years in the running and organisation of the Ribblesdale League in south Lancashire. For quite a while he had worked in a voluntary capacity reporting on league cricket on BBC local radio: on occasions we believe that he had to score and commentate simulataneously, no mean feat to do just one, but straightforward enough for a man of Alan’s calibre.
When the role of Lancashire scorer presented itself, he was delighted: he had always supported the county, ever since he had been old enough to recognise the existence of separate counties, and now all his many years of voluntary work in the game were to be rewarded in a more tangible way than he had imagined possible.
Alan was one of the best of colleagues – while passionate about his own county, he was able to appreciate the strengths of their rivals and always had good words to say about Lancashire’s opponents when due.
In addition Alan was a most enthusiastic quizzer: every Monday evening during the quiz season he would be representing his local pub team and he had the honour of captaining The Notchers, a team of county scorers, in the BBC television programme, Eggheads. He was also a prolific tackler of crosswords – one who enjoyed talking about this hobby with any players or colleagues with a similar interest.
Alan cared very much about the role of county scorers and, during his time as Chairman of the Association of County Cricket Scorers, he worked extremely hard on ensuring that that role was fully appreciated and maintained for future years.
Alan first became ill at the start of the 2010 season and he decided that scoring was going to be too much for him after the first few weeks. After undergoing a full course of chemotherapy he seemed to be fully recovered and was able to return to his scoring for Lancashire first team for the next three seasons. When Lancashire were the county champions in 2011 this probably gave him more pleasure than any other event in his cricketing career.
He became ill again at the start of the 2014 season and handed over his duties to Darrin White while he undertook more chemotherapy. It was remarkable how strong and positive he remained during these difficult times, and he was convinced that he would be well enough to return to the job he loved in 2015.
Sadly it was not to be and Alan will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues around the counties. We send our sincerest condolences to all members of his family – his wife Jane, sister Linda, three sons, Tim, Chris, Martin and their families.