Tributes paid to ‘Mr Lisburn Cricket Club’

Lisburn Cricket Club has paid tribute to member Cecil Walker MBE who had passed away after a recent period of illness.

Cecil Walker MBE. Picture courtesy of Lisburn Cricket Club

A club statement said: “It is with profound sadness that the club announces that Cecil Walker passed away after a recent period of illness.

“To Gloria, Robin, Jill, Elliott, Shannon and the wider Walker family, we extend the club’s heartfelt condolences at this very sad time.”

The club statement continued: “Put simply, Cecil was ‘Mr Lisburn Cricket Club’.

Cecil Walker MBE pictured with the club. Picture courtesy of Lisburn Cricket Club

“A member since 1944, the boy from Ivan Street was a distinguished club captain from 1963-1967 and again from 1969-1971 (his total of eight seasons as 1st XI captain remains a club record).

“He won six Challenge Cups early in his playing career before going on to captain the club to three senior league titles, leading some of the finest teams in the history of Wallace Park cricket. Off the field, he was a dedicated administrator who became the backbone of the club, holding almost every position at one time or another.

“He was club secretary for 14 years (1972-1986), chairman from 1990-1994, president from 1996-1998 and club patron from 2000-2004 and again from 2018 to his passing.”

It added: “Away from the park Cecil contributed significantly to the development and administration of Irish Cricket. He was the Northern Cricket Union president in 1986, an NCU life member and the Irish Cricket Union president in 1988.

“As his close friend Robin Walsh stated in a recent article, ‘If you were to pick a team of those who’ve made the greatest contribution to cricket in Ireland down the years, Cecil Walker would be written in capital letters. You might even make him captain.’

“As he took a step back from his administrative roles, Cecil’s dedication to his club and sport was recognised at home and further afield.

“In 2008 the pavilion in Wallace Park was named after him in recognition of his dedication to LCC. This was followed by the receiving of the International Cricket Council Centenary Medal in 2009 which recognises outstanding work carried out by cricket volunteers throughout the world.

“Two years later he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the sport in Northern Ireland.

“Even as his health waned over the past few years, he continued to visit the park most Saturdays with Gloria throughout the 2021 season, to watch his beloved Lisburn.

“We are incredibly proud to have had Cecil as a member of Lisburn Cricket Club and for all that he has achieved in local cricket.

“However, more important than any of his achievements in sport, Cecil was a true gentleman, a great friend to many, a loving father and grandfather and a devoted husband to Sylvia, who passed away in November 2017.”

The statement from Lisburn Cricket Club management committee concluded: “He will be sorely missed by all at Wallace Park.”