Terry Webster -business brain, sporting giant

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TRIBUTES have been made to Mr Terry Webster, the Brighouse businessman and a sportsman of considerable ability in his younger days.

Mr Webster, who died aged 79 on January 3, founded the insurance broker T. G. Webster in Commercial Street. He was a founder member of Brighouse Round Table in 1955 and active member of Brighouse Rotary Club. He was also a Freemason and member of Brighouse Mark Lodge. He was appointed to the Brighouse Bench in 1971 and served as chairman.

Educated at Hipperholme Grammar School, he was offered a place at Oxford University but didn’t take it up because of his father’s ill-health.

It was in the field of sport that Mr Webster excelled and made a name for himself in West Yorkshire. He was a keen sportsman at school and his passion for cricket, rugby and golf continued all his life. He was a talented spin bowler and played with Brighouse Cricket Club for more than 20 years, played for Yorkshire 2nd XI in the 1950s and was a professional for Pudsey St Lawrence. During his National Service he played with Yorkshire cricketing legend Ray Illingworth.

His friend and fellow cricketer, Geoff Hirst, said: “Terry was an indomitable character and cricketer. We were colleagues on the cricket field for well over 20 years and his contribution to the history of Brighouse Cricket Club should be acknowledged. He was a slow left-arm spin bowler of considerable ability and a stalwart of the Brighouse 1st XI for most of the 1950s and ‘60s. A more whole-hearted cricketer I have never known.”

He was captain of Lightcliffe Golf Club where he enjoyed a single figure handicap and member of Old Brodleians RUFC.

One of his three sons, Mr Jeremy Webster, said: “His main love was watching sport. He was thrilled to see England retain the Ashes, he was a keen supporter of the English Rugby Union team and he followed the Old Brods at home and away.

“He had Parkinson’s Disease for 10 years before he died but he was an avid reader and he kept himself busy and active. Until last August he came into work every day. He loved his sport, he loved his family and he loved his friends.”

Mr Stephen Guy, president of Brighouse Rotary Club, said that Mr Webster had valued his involvement with the organisation and had played a full part in the club’s activities until prevented by ill health.

“He was quoted as saying that being president of the club from 1977-8 was an opportunity he would not have missed. It had widened his horizons and increased his friendship considerably.”

Mr Webster leaves a widow, Margaret, three sons, Mark, Jonathan and Jeremy, and four grandchildren, Alexandra, Hannah, Sarah and Edward. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 10.45am at St Matthew’s Church, Lightcliffe.