A HIGHLY regarded former footballer from Silsden has died at the age of 89.

Arthur Tillotson was a key member of the Silsden AFC team of the late 1940s and 1950s, where he was equally adept in both attack and defence.

For over ten years, he was a regular as centre half or centre forward and, in one match, scored nine goals for Silsden, a feat which has not been surpassed.

One of his proudest achievements was to score the goal against Bradford City, when the professional side visited Silsden in 1951 and won by the narrow margin of 2-1.

After his playing days were over he continued to support the club for the rest of his life and was elected life president.

Despite recent ill health he could still be found in the stand at almost every match, thanks to the support of friends and family.

Mr Tillotson worked as a painter and decorator and came from a family which had lived in Silsden for many decades.

His great great grandfather started a stonemasonry business which continued through four generations and was responsible for building several local streets of houses, including Tillotson Street which was named after the family.

Only four weeks ago he attended an unveiling ceremony at Silsden Town Hall, when he presented to the community a silver trowel used by his ancestor during the laying of the building’s foundation stone.

Mr Tillotson died in Airedale Hospital earlier this month.

He was widowed twice. His first wife was Audrey Sugden, of the local drapery emporium, and his second wife was Diana Dinsdale. He leaves a son and daughter and three stepsons.

His funeral was held at Silsden Parish Church on Friday afternoon.