Ron Lafbery, the long-serving Secretary of the Notts Cricket Board until his retirement last year, has died.
Despite all the work he put into the Association and then the Board, his legacy must surely be the success of his club, Ellerslie CC. Present day club cricketers in Nottingham can hardly comprehend that in 1951, there were 31 clubs registered with the NCA, whose home ground was The Forest.
Of those 31, quite a few had histories going back half a century, but in 2010 only Ellerslie remains and that is largely due to the efforts of Ron Lafbery.
In the 1960s, as pitches on The Forest grew worse, clubs folded because opposition was not keen to play on the ground. Ellerslie was on the point of collapse, but Lafbery volunteered to be Secretary and managed to find a new ground, but, like a number of other clubs, Ellerslie soon had to move a second time and then a third.
By 1991 the club was at West Bridgford School before, at last, in 1994, discovering a permanent home at Little Bounds, where they have flourished ever since.
Of course the task of steering Ellerslie through all those difficult times and indeed transforming their present home was not totally due to Lafbery, but his quiet determination was always close at hand and he was ably supported by his wife, Joyce, and his son Phil, as well as other officials.
Ron was born in Beeston in 1930 and his schoolboy cricket was as a left hand bat with Dame Agnes Lads Club. His adult cricket began during National Service with the RAF, when he served in Singapore. Employed in the textile industry on his return to civilian life, he joined his uncle’s club Ellerslie and took over as its secretary in 1963.
He was elected to the Management Committee of the NCA in 1973, becoming, as noted, Secretary the following year. The Association grew over the years, before it was transformed into the Notts Cricket Board in 2001. Such a revolution can be traumatic and the fact that it was not, was as much down to the demeanor of Lafbery as to any other figure.
Whilst the enlarged egos of some members of the numerous committees on which Lafbery worked caused ripples which could develop into tidal waves, he remained calm and collected, sweeping up the debris when the meetings closed and simply getting on with the job of ensuring that his club, or the Board’s basic structure remained intact.
Ron Lafbery was a great servant to club cricket in Nottinghamshire for more than half a century and if those who come after him follow in his footsteps, cricket in the county will continue to blossom.
The service will be at 1:15pm on Thursday 20 January at Bramcote Crematorium following by a 'Celebration of Ron's Life' Service at All Hallows Church, Arnold Lane, Gedling at 2:15pm and a reception at the Derek Randall Suite, Trent Bridge (around 3.30pm).
Donations are being accepted on behalf of'Cancer Research UK' care of The Co-operative Funeralcare, 69 Gedling Road, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 3FG