Phil Senior has been a key figure across the Huddersfield cricketing landscape for the past five decades. And to mark his service at both club and league level Phil was awarded the Fred Stallard Cup at the Huddersfield Cricket League’s annual awards night.
Phil, now 73, first started his love affair with cricket at the age of 10. First becoming a scorer and then a player, it was by chance that Phil crossed paths with the sport at a young age.
He said: “I got involved with cricket quite by chance when I was on a bike ride as a 10-year-old. That ride took me to the playground at Thurstonland where they were about to start a game on the adjacent cricket ground but the scorer hadn’t turned up.
“My father had played cricket for Scholes before starting his mobile greengrocer business in the Scholes area and so the following year I became the regular scorer for Scholes.
“I progressed into playing junior and senior cricket at Scholes but within a year of moving to Lower Cumberworth I became a player for both Cumberworth football and cricket clubs.”
Born and bred in Mearhouse, between New Mill and Jackson Bridge, Phil has lived in Cumberworth since 1976. He has spent most of his working life in the Computer-Aided Engineering industry and even moved to the US for three years. Despite all that it is the cricket where Phil feels mostly at home.
Whilst playing for Cumberworth he was predominantly an opening batsman for the team. He appeared in three of the Central League’s Tinker Cup finals and he then moved to captain the second team during the latter part of his long and distinguished playing career.
As well as playing cricket he also turned out for the local football side. Since he retired as a cricketer Phil has taken up a number of roles in the sport including umpiring.
He said: “I played football into my early 40s but rarely missed playing cricket until I took up umpiring at the age of 61. After a couple of years umpiring in the Huddersfield Central League I joined the Huddersfield Cricket League in 2012.
“At the same time I was invited to become the results and registration secretary for the league after completing 20 years in that role at Huddersfield Central League.”
Phil is currently treasurer, groundsman and league rep at Cumberworth Cricket Club, results and registration secretary for the Huddersfield Cricket League and chairman of Huddersfield Junior Cricket League.
There’s much to keep him busy and Phil said: “I create over 2,500 fixtures for HCL and HJCL each season which is very challenging but also very satisfying when it all comes together.
“I previously coached and managed the Cumberworth under-9s team for its initial 10 years and, in addition to winning our first under-9 Grand Final, it has been very rewarding to see the enjoyment and camaraderie of those players over and above their successes on the cricket field.”
Phil said he was proud to be awarded the Fred Stallard Cup and said there were many people to thank. He added: “I feel very grateful for the support of my fellow club and league officials and all who continue to support me, especially my wife Sheila.”
On recognising Phil’s long service, the league released a statement saying: “On the Executive Committee, the role he has and the way it works has been modernised and is unrecognisable to before he joined.
“It is to his great credit, his skills and mind for data and numbers which has helped to completely modernise player statistics and fixture lists as well as managing the high workload of player transfers.
“Besides this vital role, he continues to fulfill an equally important job as a qualified umpire and is in attendance at a fixture around the league every Saturday.
“Crucially, Phil’s attention to detail to such matters makes it difficult to see how he fits so much into the time he has.
“As busy and fully committed as Phil is, he always carries out his duties with his customary dignity, honesty and good humour and the league are proud to present him with their most prestigious league honour.”