When Don Holt retired to East Lancashire 15 years ago he vowed never to become chairman of another Cricket club.

A lengthy stint in the hot seat at Woodbank in the Lancashire and Cheshire League was more enough and Don was looking forward to putting his feet up and spending time with his family.

But what Don didn't reckon on though was Church and Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club -- the club that lured him back in to the game and eventually back in to the hot seat.

Add his role as chairman of the Hyndburn Cricket Development Group and work with the Community Voluntary Service and Hyndburn Youth Service, the quiet life, so it seems, will have to be put on hold.

"I moved to the area to be near my family and to basically take it easy," said the 65-year-old retired butcher. "But I am now busier than ever."

Bury-born Don recalls why he became associated with the Lancashire League club.

"We were looking for a club for my eldest son Alec to join. We had a look at Accrington and Enfield but we were told that he had a much better chance of getting straight in to the Church side."

And so began his affair with the Blackburn Road side.

But it was an affair that was cruelly interrupted by serious illness when Holt was diagnosed with cancer in 1992. But he showed his true fighting spirit to make a full recovery and on his return, he was invited to join the club's committee.

It was then that Holt showed his worth as a member of the board by setting about starting up a junior section -- something that is close to his heart.

"I've always said the junior teams are the future of cricket clubs. When I joined Church, the club didn't have a junior section and, with the help of other committee members, we went about setting one up."

Don's youth policy has since made its mark at Church Cricket Club. For the club now has 50 youngsters playing at under 11s, 13s and 15s, a girls team while there is a distinct junior flavour to the senior sides.

"When we start the season next month we will probably have five players under the age of 20 in our first team. We have also brought in a policy where seven of out third team have to be under 17.

"It is a way of introducing youngsters to senior cricket and I would say that our youth policy is definitely working."

It is the fruits of hard labour put in to place by Don when he became chairman six years ago -- much to his surprise.

"Tony Marsden was stepping down as chairman and Alan Gilraine was expected to take over, with me taking over Alan's role as vice chairman.

"However, at the AGM, Alan also announced he was stepping down and suddenly I was chairman."

Don had unwittingly gone back on his promise of never becoming a cricket club chairman again.

But, in Church, he had found a club that he had become extremely fond of.

"I came to the club as an outsider but was immediately made to feel very welcome. Coming from Bury, Church is very much like a village and there is a great family atmosphere at the club."

And it is a club that now boasts some of the best facilities in the league thanks largely to Don's business sense.

For Don has helped the club secure grants from Awards for All and the Local Children's Network which have been used wisely to make improvements at Blackburn Road.

Don prides himself of being very much a hands-on chairman.

As well as watching the first team, Don, until this season, used to umpire the third team as well as hand picking the club's professionals.

"I don't go through agencies to find our professional. I like to do all the research myself and make sure we get the right man."

Don is sure Sri Lankan, Ruvin Pieris, is the right man for the coming season -- both on and off the pitch.

For while the opening batsman has set three batting records in the past five years while playing for Middleton, Don has been impressed with his keenest to coach youngsters.

"That is very important for me. I was thrilled to hear that Ruvin did a lot of coaching in schools off his own back, quite similar to what we do with the development group."

Don played his part in helping to form the Hyndburn Cricket Development Group three years ago.

He was invited by Hyndburn Borough Council's sports development officer, Sue Else, to join the borough's Sports Council.

"I told Sue that I was more interested in cricket so she said that if we set up a cricket development group would I be interested in chairing it and I said I would."

Since then, the development group has been a huge success in helping to raise the profile of junior cricket.

"That success is down to Lee Boyer," said Don. "I am more of a figurehead but as secretary, Lee has done a tremendous job."