Friday, 24 June 2011
Yorkshire cricket writer Martin Searby dies at 72
Martin Searby, a well-known sports journalist who covered Yorkshire CCC matches home and away in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, has died at the age of 72.
Although Martin held trenchant views on cricket and had his ups and downs with some of the players and officials at various times, he could be marvellously entertaining company, and he was a popular figure on county grounds across the country.
In Press Boxes he entertained on the grand scale with his humorous stories, and he loved the camaraderie built up with fellow sports journalists whom he liked and respected. Stories about Martin himself became part of Press Box folklore.
Born in Pontefract, Martin moved with his parents to London when he was a boy, and he was educated at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in the capital.
He was a sports journalist for over half-a-century, with plenty of experience of national newspapers, and he became very much a part of the Yorkshire cricket scene when he moved to Scarborough in the 1970s. Not long afterwards he became Yorkshire cricket correspondent for Radio Leeds, and he went on to write on the team’s fortunes for several publications, including the Sheffield Star, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
In 1985 he received the Wombwell Cricket Lovers’ Society Cricket Writer of the Year Award, and in more recent years he collaborated with Geoff Boycott on his book The Best XI and also edited his website. Martin, who lived at Heckmondwike, was a loyal member of the Cricket Writers’ Club, and he always held in particular affection his Yorkshire cricket colleagues.
It was while living in Scarborough that he met his long-term partner, Hilary, who made sure that nobody who visited or was put up at the Searby household ever went away without being sumptuously fed and properly entertained. The sandwiches she packed for Martin were the envy of every Press Box in the country.
Martin’s funeral takes place at Dewsbury Moor Crematorium, Heckmondwike Road, Dewsbury, on Thursday, June 30, at 1pm.