Sportsman Ken ‘embodied Olympic ideal’

Ken Gardner (right) with Mail columnist Alan Wright in 2009, when the Taverners handed over new nets at  Hartlepool Cricket Club's Park Drive ground

Ken Gardner (right) with Mail columnist Alan Wright in 2009, when the Taverners handed over new nets at Hartlepool Cricket Club's Park Drive ground

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MORE tributes have been paid to a town stalwart who died earlier this week.

As reported in Tuesday’s Hartlepool Mail and on www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk, Ken Gardner, 71, died on Monday.

Ken, who was president of Hartlepool Cricket Club, also served on the club’s committee for more than 50 years and was a member of Durham Country Cricket Club for 35 years.

He was also a former governor at Hartlepool College of Further Education, as well as being a magistrate and supporter of the local Labour party.

Mail columnist and Regional Chairman Lord’s Taverners Northumbria and Durham, Alan Wright, said: “I was proud to know Ken for most of my life.

“When I was a young cricketer, Ken was first team wicketkeeper at Hartlepool Cricket Club and I learned a lot from him while I kept wicket in the seconds and thirds.

“Beyond his playing days, he has been a fabulous servant of cricket in the town and the region and he will be massively missed at club and Durham County level.

“He embodied the ethos of Lord’s Taverners, and appropriately the Olympic ideal, as a man who believed in giving everyone a chance and in the sheer fun of taking part, whatever the result.”

Councillor Keith Fisher added: “Ken was one of the nicest people you could hope to meet.

“His range of special expertise was very impressive indeed.

“But it was his everyday common sense which placed him very high in my personal esteem.

“The thoughts of my wife Elaine and I are with Ken’s fine family.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of the Hartlepool Labour group, said: “Ken was never a councillor, but he was a very loyal supporter of the local party.

“He contributed greatly to the party, and all of our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

Ken leaves behind wife, Carole, 66, his three sons, Peter, 39, Andrew, 34, Matthew, 26, and two grandchildren, William, three, and six-month-old Bartholomew.