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John Brewer obituary

John Brewer obituary

Former Lancashire Committee member and Vice President John Brewer died in December after a long illness. We all send our condolences to his wife Lesley and his family.

John was born in Wigan and educated at Manchester University. He worked as a Solicitor and in his early years played for Lytham C.C. John was elected to the Lancashire Committee in 1978 and served for over 30 years before being elected a Vice-President of the Club.

He served on many Benefit committees for the players and chaired many of the sub-committees of the Club. He followed Lancashire both home and away and edited the Club’s Sunday programme as well as later commentating on the radio for Lancashire matches.

His fellow commentator, Andy Peebles said of John, "A man passionate about life, cricket and Lancashire County Cricket Club in particular. An early advocate of women’s involvement in the game and someone who was deeply saddened by his failure to get a Premier League up and running in the county. As part of our broadcasting team he was, as befits a man of law, relaxed in front of a microphone. I have lost a dear friend.”

Former Lancashire Chairman Bob Bennett also paid his tribute to Brewer.

“He was totally committed to the Club and his contribution to cricket was enormous. During my time as Club Chairman he always made himself available to take on any task at any moment without hesitation. He was a big man but a giant in his overall effort to take Lancashire cricket forward at all levels.

“The formation of the Lancashire Cricket Board is a perfect reflection on his total dedication to the game. He was its first Chairman and worked tirelessly to integrate youth and league cricket and passionately wanted to oversee the formation of a Lancashire Premier League. Due to the intransigence of the some of the long-established league clubs his attempts were foiled. Youth cricket was also a passion in which he received great support from Geoff Ogden and Jim Kenyon as they battled to bring young Lancastrians into the professional ranks. From his very early days as a Committee Member he fought doggedly for the introduction of a new rule permitting Ladies to become Members of the Club eventually winning the day over twenty years ago. 

“John Brewer’s contribution to Lancashire County Cricket Club and the game of cricket was immense and in his passing the game has lost a principled, hardworking and dedicated lover of the game, the likes of which we are unlikely to see again. During the last ten years he suffered tragically with ill health and it was difficult to witness the suffering he endured. A genuine fine and passionate man, may he rest in peace.”

Jim Cumbes adds a story about John. “Before I retired, I used to pop and see him now and again at his Blackpool nursing home. He could not converse but fully understood what was said. When we won the Championship in 2011 for the first time in 77 years, I knew he would be delighted, so when I next went to see him I took the Championship trophy. He was absolutely tickled pink and held it fondly, full of smiles. Just then, one of the local neighbour's cats came in - no doubt a regular visitor - And John gave me the trophy back so that he could fuss the cat. I had to laugh. I thought of 77 years of effort, upstaged by a fluffy ginger Tom! However he was so grateful I had taken the trophy over and he tried to desperately express his thanks, but I understood, and being a cat lover myself, I forgave the ginger Tom!”

Written by Rev Malcolm Lorimer

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