Sykes revels as league’s top administrator

Cricket - Elland v Marsden.'Paul Winrow bats for Elland.
Cricket - Elland v Marsden.'Paul Winrow bats for Elland.

This week Echo Sport caught up with Executive Secretary for the Huddersfield Drakes Cricket League, Stephen Sykes, 64.

Living in Huddersfield, Stephen has been working at the Halifax Bank in Brighouse as a Customer Advisor for the last 18 months.

Married to Lesley, the couple have two children, Paul, 34 and Matthew 32.

They also have a grandson, Adrian, who is two.

“I have worked for HBOS for about six and a half years now, and prior to that I worked for Halifax General Insurance and also did telephone call rating when customers contacted the call centres,” said Stephen.

“But when Lloyds took over in 2009 they reduced the team from 20 to 11 and I went to work at the Commercial Street branch in Halifax.”.

You may also recognise him from the popular Halifax television commercials, as he was part of the bank’s choir.

“I did four commercials and enjoyed it, and it was fun being recognised when people came into the bank on Bethel Street and said they had seen me on the advert,” he added.

Two years ago he became the Executive Secretary for the Huddersfield Cricket League after hanging up his umpire’s white coat.

“I played for Golcar in the late 60/70’s, but I was a general player and filled in where needed,” said Stephen.

“I started umpiring in the late 70’s and progressed to President of the Umpires, but due to illness I had to stop and so I was asked if I would like an admin role.

“We had our 2012 Presentation and League dinner at the Cedar Court, at Ainley Top last week and 230 attended which was down on last year’s 322 but we lost them due to the weather.

“It was a great night and we had Jeremy Coney as the guest speaker. He played for Wellington and New Zealand and was the New Zealand captain for over 20 tests. Then we finished the night with Bradford-based comedian Mike Kelly.”

As well as working full time, cricket commitments and family, Stephen has also been a Magistrate for Huddersfield, over the last 20 years which he started when a friend who was Assistant District Commissioner for the Scouts suggested the role to him.

Turning 65 in March, Stephen isn’t going to fully retire but does plan to cut his hours down at work.

“My wife still has to work for a few years yet and my son Paul lives is Missouri, America, so we need to make sure we have coffers in the jar to go visit him and our grandson,” added Stephen.