SPORTING legend Sir Everton Weekes is to have a permanent memorial in the middle of Bacup, where he played Lancashire League cricket for seven seasons.

Rossendale Council has agreed to commemorate the West Indian batsman, who died, aged 95, on July 1.

The move is the idea of its Conservative group leader Cllr Peter Steen, who wants to name the town’s proposed new Market Square after Sir Everton, who played for Bacup Cricket Club between 1949 and 1958.

He passed 1,000 runs in each season, scored 25 centuries, and his 1,518 runs scored in 1951 is still the club record.

Cllr Steen proposed a motion at this month’s full naming of the town's proposed new market square after him ‘in recognition of the services of Sir Everton Weekes to Bacup Cricket Club and pioneering work in race relations’, which was amended creating ‘a lasting memorial to Sir Everton in Bacup town centre as part of the exciting plans for Bacup Market’ in case the scheme fails to go ahead.

Cllr Steen said: “I am a little disappointed the original motion did not go through but I’m happy that the council is committed to a proper memorial to Sir Everton in Bacup.

“He was a great cricketer, a great man and a great ambassador for race relations and the town. He took a bit of Bacup back to the Caribbean and a brought a touch of the Caribbean to Bacup.

“If the market square goes ahead as planned I shall press for it to be named The Sir Everton Weekes Square.”

Bacup Cricket Club chairman Neal Wilkinson said: “We would be absolutely delighted if this came to pass.

“Sir Everton’s name is very much etched not only into the history of Bacup Cricket Club but into the town itself.

“I think it’s fair to say that he was loved by the people of the town and he loved them in return.”

Cllr Jackie Oakes, Rossendale Council’s deputy leader said: “I’m happy to say there was a unanimous decision by council members that we should recognise the significant contribution made by Sir Everton Weekes.

“The naming of the new market square is one option, but as we haven’t yet secured the funding for this project we can’t make a final decision. We have agreed in principle that a lasting memorial will be created in Bacup town centre, we’re just not able to confirm what that might be just yet.”

Bacup Cricket Club is sending a floral tribute to his funeral in Barbados on Thursday.