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Ex-Accrington Stanley chief's son loses cancer battle
THE son of the former owner and chairman of Accrington Stanley has died, aged 47.
Ian Whalley, son of Eric Whalley, who was in charge of the club from 1995-2009, lost his battle with cancer.
The keen sportsman, who lived in Accrington, was a life-long member of Rishton Cricket Club, where he had played alongside his father, who was the team’s captain, and his brothers Russell and Paul.
The fast bowler was also a member at Great Harwood Cricket Club and had played football for Lancashire Football Association side Rishton United.
But Ian’s big passion was fishing and he spent much of his spare time on a speed boat on Windermere.
He worked as a sales director at the family packaging business EW Cartons, which is based on the Altham Industrial Estate.
Ian’s father Eric, who is also the president of Rishton Cricket Club, said his son had just finished his sixth round of chemotherapy for the cancer, which was present in several parts of his body.
He said: “It was quite sudden when they said he only had a couple of hours to live. The doctors did not know until the consultant looked at his scan.
“The family all gathered round and they were a big support.
“Ian was mad on most sports, just like the rest of the family. He was a big family man.
“Most sales people have the gift of the gab, but Ian was very quiet and a very reserved person.
“He will be very sadly missed.”
Frank Martindale, who is a former captain at Rishton Cricket Club and played and worked with Ian, also paid tribute to the family man who died last Friday.
He said Ian, who had been married to his wife Julie for 10 years and had two stepsons, was a very talented cricketer and would be remembered fondly.
Among his many sporting achievements was scoring a 50 against East Lancashire for the club’s first team.
Frank said: “I knew Ian very well.
“He was predominantly a quick bowler, and I mean quick. He was very, very sharp.
“He was very fit and a good fielder, he could throw a ball very well and he was a capable batsman too.
“He was a good cricketer and a nice bloke too.
“You could have a laugh with him, he could be funny in his own way. You could get on with him and have a crack.
“He always loved to go fishing, he had is own unique brand of enjoyment.
“I am feeling for the family at the moment and Ian will be remembered fondly by everybody at the cricket club.”
Eddie Rostron, from Rishton Cricket Club, said: “It came as quite a shock, we only found out he had cancer last February.
“He was only going into hospital for something minor when they found out.
“He was such a fit lad, he did not smoke or do much wrong to abuse his body.
“When your children die before you, it is always shocking.”
Ian’s funeral will be held at St Wulstan’s Church, Rushton Street, Great Harwood, on Friday August 3 at 1.30pm.
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