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RIP Mel Ryan

— 17 November 2015

Former Yorkshire fast bowler, Mel Ryan, died in Kirkland Hospice, Kirklees, early on Monday morning, November 16, aged 82.

Born in Huddersfield on June 23, 1933, Mel played in 150 first class matches for Yorkshire between 1954-65.

A willing and hard-working paceman, Mel shared the new-ball with Fred Trueman on many occasions.

  • Yorkshire County Cricket team, May 1963. Back row (left-right): G Alcock, Doug Padgett, John Hampshire, Don Wilson, Melville Ryan, Tony Nicholson, Bryan Stott, Phil Sharpe, Ted Lester (scorer). Front row: Jimmy Binks, Fred Trueman, Brian Close, Ray Illingworth, Ken Taylor.

    During a successful career, he captured 413 wickets at 22.92 runs apiece with a best return of 7-45 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 1958. He claimed five wickets in an innings on 12 occasions and twice took ten wickets in a match.

    Although he first played in 1954 he did not gain a regular first team place until 1960.

    He did, however, take 21 Championship wickets in 1959 when Yorkshire, under Ronnie Burnet, lifted the title to end Surrey’s record run of seven consecutive Championship successes.

  • Mel went on to play in three further Championship winning seasons, taking 37 wickets in 1960, 74 in 1962 and 63 in 1963.

    After retiring from first class cricket, Mel joined the Yorkshire CCC committee as a Huddersfield district member in 1974 and the served until 1982. He was on the cricket committee from 1975-80.

    Mel, who lived in Almondbury, Huddersfield, leaves a widow, June, a daughter, Clare, and three grandchildren. Mel and June also had a son, James, who died tragically in a skiing accident in the Italian Alps in March, 2010.

    The funeral will be on Monday, November 23 at 2.00pm at Fixby Crematorium with a reception afterwards at Woodsome Hall Golf Club.

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