By David Town and Ji Mukherjee

CRAVEN and beyond has lost an inspirational and well-respected ambassador of local sport following the death of Peter Marsden on March 25.

David Town, secretary of Craven Football Association said: “Peter’s love of football commenced in his teenage years by helping on match days at Skipton Bulldogs. This was followed with 63 years’ dedicated service to grassroots football. In 1958 he qualified as a referee and joined the Craven League management committee in 1959 as the referees’ representative. A year later he took the same position with the Craven Football Association.

“In 1978 he became the Craven representative on the West Riding County FA. He was elected first as chairman in 2003 and then two years later was elected president, a position he held until 2011; remaining as a life vice president.

“Peter also held the position of Craven League secretary for almost 29 years and was elected president of the Craven District Football Association in 2009. That same year he was awarded the Football Association 50 years long service award.

“Peter had a wealth of footballing stories. One of his most treasured moments was attending the 1966 World Cup final when England defeated West Germany 4-2.

“Peter was everything to local football. His contribution to the “Beautiful Game” will never be forgotten. A true Legend.”

Friend and Skipton Cricket Club member Ji Mukherjee said: “Skipton Cricket Club has lost a truly wonderful gentleman in their president Peter Marsden. He was elected to the role in 2011. He was a staunch supporter of the club, its members and especially the juniors.

“Peter did not play a lot of cricket, as football was his passion, but he regularly hung on the perimeter fence to watch a game as a child and occasionally sneaked in with friends towards the end of a match. He watched all the great Skipton players at the ground over the years and even some Yorkshire ones.

“He will be sadly missed by all who play and visit the Coulthurst Memorial Grounds at Sandylands, where he was always ensconced in front of the pavilion on match days with other spectators, and more often with Maisie his wife. On occasion the two of them made the teas which were readily devoured. Latterly, when finding walking harder, he still insisted on carrying out the drinks to the players and umpires, as always, and was supportive of their efforts, whoever won.

“As head of the ‘grounds crew’ Peter spent many an hour painting benches (occasionally with the wrong paint!), cutting the grass, filling holes where rabbits had dug and whitewashing the clubhouse walls. He would have been so pleased with the progress towards the current season, the new 3rd team and the plans for the Community Hub which will help both cricket and junior football.”