Tributes have been paid to a popular former cricketer who has died at the age of 47.
Ian Jackson, a great stalwart of Hartlepool Cricket Club, died last weekend after a battle with illness.
Ian was a tremendously popular figure at the clubMichael Gough Senior
The dad-of-two came through the junior ranks of the club, and spent his entire playing career there before returning as a coach within its junior section over recent years, specifically the under-11 squad.
Friends and former colleagues at the club have spoken of Ian as a “tremendously popular figure”.
Michael Gough Snr, the president of the junior section and a committee member, said: “Ian is going to be a massive miss and everyone is totally shocked.
“He was a tremendously popular figure at the club.
“He was such a larger than life person, very humorous and fantastic to be around.
“I’ve never seen a person give as much to a club as Ian did. He had great pride and passion in playing for the club.”
Mr Gough added: “Ian had great charisma. He was always telling jokes and could mimic people better than the actual person.
“People and players would flock around him in the clubhouse to listen to him and be entertained by him.
“He died on Saturday. Since then, we’ve taken numerous phone calls from people giving wonderful tributes to him as a fine person and cricketer.
“He was a one-off, and a fantastic person.”
Ian was a regular in Hartlepool’s first team for many years as a left-arm bowler with good pace and control.
His bowling was often supplemented by some effective batting in the lower order, with big hitting a speciality of his.
His performances for Hartlepool brought success and recognition at representative level with Cumbria in the Minor Counties competition in the 1990s.
Alan Jackson, the club’s chairman, said: “On behalf of everybody at HCC, our condolences to all the family.
“It is devastating news. Ian was a top club man, a bloke with a great sense of humour, and a good friend to all my family. RIP.”
In recent years, Ian returned to cricket as a coach with the junior Section at the club, specifically the under-11 squad. His dedication and enthusiasm shone through in his coaching and he earned the respect of the players and their parents.
Despite battling illness during 2016, Ian continued to coach and manage the squad, such was his determination to encourage the young players onto success.
Ian leaves behind wife Louise and children Max and Martha.