Tributes paid to Hartlepool cricket legend who inspired countless others

Philip Prosser and his son Callum who will honour his fathers wishes by staying in Australia and playing cricket

Philip Prosser and his son Callum who will honour his fathers wishes by staying in Australia and playing cricket

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Touching tributes have been paid to a Hartlepool cricket stalwart who helped inspire generations of young players.

Since he was a young boy Philip Prosser, who played for Hartlepool Cricket Club, lived and breathed the sport.

It was a passion which continued into adulthood.

Even in his final moments he made his son Callum, who is currently in Australia playing cricket, promise not to come home for his funeral but to stay and do his team proud.

Philip was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer just after Christmas, losing his battle with the disease on October 12.

His older brother Tom, 68, said: “It must be really hard for Callum being out there, but he is doing what his father wanted him to do.

It must be really hard for Callum being out there, but he is doing what his father wanted him to do.

“He was on the phone to him on the Tuesday for about an hour and he told him he needed to stay out there and carry on what was his dream, to take as many wickets as he could and to do the team proud.”

Philip, who has an older sister Tina Proud, was born and lived his life in Hartlepool. After leaving school he worked at Fred Nichols and Sons as a customs clerk before joining his father Arthur at Christopher Browns timber merchants and later Robert Lauders where he was a timber rep. He went onto become an HGV driver before retiring.

But it was his love of cricket and his outlook on life which the 65-year-old will be remembered for.

His brother added: “From a very young age he was involved in cricket. He was a fast bowler and his youngest son has gone on to follow in his footsteps.

“Philip was always a very positive person, he was the kind of person that if he had a task to do he would do it to his full capabilities, there were no half measures with Philip.

“When he was diagnosed with cancer, he still remained positive.”

Philip joined Hartlepool Cricket Club as a junior player, going on to play in the first team. He was part of the squad who won the league in 1978 and the Kerridge Cup in 1979.

He later moved into the second and third teams and continued to play and coach the juniors into his 50s.

Towards the end of his career he also umpired games including the Lowery Cup in 2014. In 1999 he was also involved in the World Cup and was the baggage master for the Bangladesh team.

A photo of Wodonga Raiders Cricket team - the team his son Callum is playing for - wearing black armbands will be displayed on the order of service at his funeral.

Friend Michael Gough said: “I’ve known Philip for a long time. He was a larger than life character and a legend.”

Philip leaves behind two sons, Stuart, 30 and Callum, 26.

A service for Philip will be held on Tuesday at Stranton Crematorium Chapel before he will be placed to rest at Stranton Cemetery. Friends and family are invited back to Hartlepool Cricket Club where they can share their memories of Philip with others.