THE district’s top teams have paid tribute to a local cricketing stalwart.

Maurice Miller played for Tynedale and was chairman and groundsman at Tyne Valley neighbours Stocksfield for many years.

He was well-known across the North-East for his umpiring days once he hung up his playing whites.

Maurice played for Tynedale immediately after the Second World War, playing alongside his brother Tommy who was first XI captain.

He also turned out for Northumberland in 1946 and 1947.

At Tynedale, he was best known for his medium pace bowling from a short run-up. His technique worked a treat and, in the 1946 season, he claimed 63 league wickets. He went on to claim 195 first team wickets, keeping him in 17th place in the club’s all-time stats.

Mr Miller was also a distinguished batsman, generally coming in at number three. However, he was quite often promoted to open the innings alongside his brother.

Following his retirement, he took up umpiring and was a familiar face at Northumberland and Tyneside League fixtures.

Due to his long service, he was made a life member of the league’s umpires’ association.

While umpiring, Mr Miller also carried out his duties as groundsman at Stocksfield, where he would cut the square ahead at the club ahead of his time officiating elsewhere in the North-East.

Following his death at the age of 93, tributes poured in for the passionate cricketer. John Darling, at Tynedale, said: “Maurice was a man of good humour and a splendid raconteur, it was always a pleasure to see him back at Priors Flat following his playing career as an umpire or spectator.

He will be greatly missed and all at Tynedale send their condolences to his family and friends.”

Chris Catnach, the chairman at Stocksfield, said: “Even after he retired as groundsman, he used to pop in and watch cricket and have a bit of tea, and keep the association with us going.

“He was a quiet, affable guy who seemed to get on with everybody.”

Northumberland and Tyneside Cricket League secretary Paul Lee said: “Maurice was well recognised, particularly around Northumberland cricket grounds, and his commitment to league cricket was undisputed.”