ONE of the district’s best known cricketing figures enjoyed a special visit to the home of the sport this week.

West Tyne League stalwart Dickie Purvis was at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London on Monday.

The visit came after he was awarded the pro-active leadership in cricket award at the Northumberland Cricket Board’s Northumberland Oscars.

The honour was in recognition of his years of service to the game, both on and off the field.

A long-serving player with Hexham General Post office (now Hexham Leazes), and Humshaugh, Dickie called time on his trophy-laden playing career at the age of 66.

During his career, he established a midweek team at Humshaugh, and took over as the club’s groundsman in 1995. Since then he has picked up several ground of the year awards, and still carries out the role with pride today.

Dickie, who is also Humshaugh’s fixture secretary, has long been a key member of the West Tyne League’s management committee, and has served as a league umpire for the past two years.

“I was absolutely taken aback,” said Dickie, who was also shortlisted for the heartbeat of the club award, which went to Joe Jackson, of Mitford Cricket Club.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with cricket for many years, and I carry out all of my roles because I love the game.

“To be nominated and to win an award like this is a tremendous honour, and to get the chance to go to Lord’s as part of it was just brilliant.

“I was accompanied by David Neal, the secretary of Humshaugh Cricket Club, and we had a wonderful time.”

Dickie was among a select band of cricketing personalities from around the country who received an invitation to Lord’s from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

He embarked on a tour of the famous venue, enjoyed a meal and was a special guest at a national awards ceremony.

Numerous cricketers from the district were honoured at the Northumberland Cricket Board Awards.

Oliver Clark was U11 player of the year, Matfen Hall’s Lizzie Scott was U15 girls’ player of the year, Tynedale’s Matthew Scott was U17 player of the year, and Stocksfield’s Harry Catnach was U13 player of the year.

l Former Derbyshire and England cricketer Geoff Miller will be guest speaker at the West Tyne League’s annual dinner tomorrow. He will present awards to the league’s teams and players at the event, at Hexham Auction Mart.