I'm extremely sad to announce that Northwood Town CC President Martin Bird passed away peacefully last night. Our thoughts are with his family at this tough time.
A member for over 40 years and a long-serving Treasurer, umpire, scorer and player, Martin Bird served the club so selflessly and so well until the very end. Northwood Town be will forever be grateful and forever indebted for everything Martin did to keep us going through the hard times and soaring through the good times.
The extent of his work behind the scenes was huge, but few knew how much he did because he simply cracked on with it with minimal fuss - much like the late, great Peter Spencer and the irreplaceable Richard Robbins. All brilliant, kind and wonderful clubmen.
Martin fought his cancer so bravely and without a shred of self pity, proving to be a walking miracle that defied prognosis after prognosis to keep going for so much longer than the experts anticipated. Despite the progression of his illness, he was still devoting his Saturdays last season to scoring for the 1st XI - and kept going with his Treasurer duties until a few months ago.
Martin was very visible as a clubman, whether it be in his white umpire's coat or in the bar after games or at the regular Sunday evening drinks. Yet it's the work that nobody saw that really elevates him to legend status. Literally for decades, counting all the coins each week from the bar during the season, taking them to the bank, sorting out countless other matters - and most of his stint was spent doing it without all the technology we currently have at our fingertips.
At the club, we decided to name the scorebox in Martin's honour - which he was truly delighted about when told a couple of months ago. Although in typical fashion, he straight away warned against spending any club money on him! He was recently shown a photo of the new Martin Bird Scorebox sign we created in his honour and was overjoyed, which meant so much - as all too often we wait too late to show others how much they mean and how much they're valued. There's still so much more we can do and will do to honour him.
Dr Brent Young spent last Saturday afternoon with Martin and said he was in fine spirits, which provides some degree of solace at this extremely sad time. He passed away around midnight at Michael Sobell House in Northwood, where he was readmitted the day before after spending most of the previous few weeks at home. Only a couple of weeks ago, he made it out to the garden to take in some of the 1st XI match. A Northwood Town clubman to the end.
Details of funeral arrangements will be posted as soon as they're known.
Rest in peace, dear Dickie. Your influence and presence will always be felt at Chestnut Avenue.
Northwood Town CC