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The High Peak Cricket Society is pleased to announce that its Service to Cricket Award, The Norman Harris Trophy, has this year been awarded to Ernest Dyer.

Ernie's hands on involvement with local cricket came relatively late in life. Although an enthusiast for the game as a youth, his first love, farming, meant there was little time left for cricket.

Following National Service in the army, he eventually joined the Manchester City Police and went on to complete 35 years loyal service with them. In the late eighties both he and his wife Jean retired to enjoy life in the leafy suburbs of Heaton Chapel. However it was not to be and following Jean's tragically early death he found himself having to rebuild his life once more.

It was then that he became involved with The Whaley Bridge Cricket Club at Horwich Park. Shortly after his election to the executive committee he took on an active role with the catering section.

Ernie is a man who never takes on a job unless he can do it properly; there can be no half measures. In a very short time he had transformed the catering section from a loss making encumbrance into an efficient, highly profitable set up. The quality of the teas became the envy of most clubs in the league while prices were kept at a very modest level.

No match is unimportant to him, despite a round trip of over 20 miles per game he caters for all junior and senior games, third team and even farmers' friendly matches. They all receive the same cheerful, caring hospitality. His Sunday morning bacon butties are legendary and attract many a parent on damp summer mornings. Also legendary are the stories of his bargain hunting shopping expeditions. Around Greater Manchester he is known in retail circles as the dreaded 'two hat kid' owing to his modus operandi of buying the permitted amount of a certain offer and going back in a different hat to repeat the process.

When you add all this to his willingness to take on just about any other task on behalf of the club, be it coffee mornings, six-a-sides, fun days, treading in new cricket squares or permanent residency at league meetings, I think you will agree that cricket in general and Whaley Bridge in particular have a very special man in Ernest Dyer.

Thanks to Les Dyer for compiling this article.

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