ONE of Enfield Cricket Club's most respected players, league-winning captain Ian Metcalf, has been laid to rest.

Mr Metcalf, known to team mates as “Mecky”, was a fixture for his entire playing career and beyond.

Making his full debut in 1960, having already played at under-18 level, Mr Metcalf, 79, would go on to captain the Lancashire League side to some of its greatest successes, winning the league championship for the first time in 25 years in 1968 and again in 1971.

Former team-mate and Lancashire County Cricket Club legend Jack Simmons said: “He played the game of cricket the way he felt it should be played.

“He was well ahead of anyone else I knew who played the game, he was a very forward, positive player, so he was very ahead of his time.”

This was a style that paid dividends as Mr Metcalf’s career progressed.

His first league fifty came in May 1961 against a Todmorden side including professional Frank “Typhoon” Tyson, renowned as one of the fastest bowlers in the world.

He then went on to win the Lancashire Evening Telegraph tankard for the fastest amateur fifty in 1964 against Bacup when he hit his fifty in just 26 minutes, and again in 1967 when he scored his half century in 35 minutes hitting the majority of his runs off the West Indies fast bowler Chester Watson.

In 1965 Mr Metcalf won the Lion Trophy for the second most amateur runs in the league and scored over 500 runs again in 1970, going on to make over 7,000 runs for Enfield in league and Worsley Cup matches including 26 fifties in a first XI career lasting until 1981.

However, his greatest triumph came when Enfield won the Lancashire League in Mr Metcalf’s first season as captain in 1968 and again in 1971.

Handing over the captaincy to Geoff Dixon in 1977, he remained a team stalwart until his retirement from the game in 1981, winning another league championship in 1977 and two Worsley Cups in 1978 and 1979 along the way.

Outside of cricket, Mr Metcalf, worked at Galbraith Mechanics, his work often taking him to the Midlands. However, his abiding love of cricket kept on bringing him back.

Mr Simmons said: “Sport came first for Ian; in the summer he’d travel back every Saturday to play cricket for Enfield.

He added: “He was a very good captain, if anyone needed an arm round them he’d do it.”

Mr Metcalf leaves wife Susan, their children and grandchildren and was laid to rest at a family ceremony at Accrington Crematorium.

Donations can be made to the North West Air Ambulance in his honour at: