LANCASHIRE captain Glen Chapple has led the tributes after the death of a cricket stalwart.

Colin Madden, 80, died after a lengthy illness at his retirement home in Valley Gardens, Earby.

The Nelson-born fast bowler played as a professional for Earby CC in the 1950s and 1960s and went on to serve on the club’s committee.

Mr Chapple began his cricket career with Earby in a 2nd XI captained by Mr Madden, a team which earned the nickname ‘Madden’s Marauders’.

The 39-year-old said: “Colin was a family friend who I knew really well. He did a lot for Earby and was the kind of person who helped to make club cricket a great and fun environment to play in, a great character.

“My thoughts are with his family.”

Mr Madden was a prominent opening bowler for Nelson CC 1st XI alongside the Australian legend Ray Lindwall in the 1950s, taking 59 wickets in his debut season to help the club to second place in the Lancashire League.

He signed as a professional for Earby in the Ribblesdale League in 1959, captaining the 1st XI, 2nd XI and 3rd XI over the course of four decades.

After retiring he joined the club’s committee and enjoyed a stint as groundsman at The Applegarth for a number of years.

Ian Clarkson, 43, played with Mr Madden at Earby.

He described him as ‘a fierce competitor on the pitch and a lovely fellow off it’.

He said: “Colin was a senior player in the team when I made my debut when I was 16.

“He was very influential in my cricket career being a great bowler and had a real will to win that filtered down to the junior players.

“Being an Earby man he was particularly competitive when playing against Barnoldswick, but it was all done in a sporting way.

“Colin will be missed by many, he was well-known and a real character.”

Outside of cricket, Mr Madden, a twice-married father-of-four, worked as a labourer, and in the 1980s ran his own sports equipment business in Dockray Street, Colne.

He passed away on February 13, and his funeral took place at Skipton Crematorium last Friday.