Sidney Fielden, Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s public relations chairman for many years, died in a nursing home on December 15. He was 88 and had suffered a long illness.

A former detective sergeant, Sidney was an eloquent and persuasive speaker who dedicated countless hours of service to the White Rose club.

He and his wife, Maureen, lived at Skellow, Doncaster, and he joined the Yorkshire committee as the Doncaster representative in 1981.

By that time he had already become closely associated with the Yorkshire Reform Group who were sympathetic with what they saw as the poor way in which Geoffrey Boycott was being treated by the Club.

When a special general meeting was held at Harrogate over the sacking of Boycott, Sidney was one of a number of speakers whose argument against the decision was so powerful that it brought down the committee and resulted in fresh elections taking place and the re-instatement of the opening batsman.

Although Sidney later changed his views on this controversy, he continued to involve himself heavily in the welfare of the club’s members and he became close friends with several ‘establishment’ figures, including Bob Appleyard.

Considered something of a rebel at the start of his committee involvement, he did not serve immediately on any of the sub-committees but with the changing tide he was elected Public Relations chairman in 1984. The following year he switched to the Grounds and Membership Committee but returned as Public Relations chairman in 1986 and remained in that role until briefly resigning from the general committee in 1998.

In 1999 he returned to the general committee as a South District representative and joined the marketing and membership sub-committee until the committee system was abolished in 2003 and replaced by the Board which was originally made up of the ‘Gang of Four’ in Robin Smith (chairman), Colin Graves (chief executive), Brian Bouttell (director of finance) and Geoff Cope (director of cricket)..

In recognition of his services to Yorkshire he was then made a vice-president of the Club.

During his time on the committee he also served on the Management Committee which was formed in 1987 and chaired first by Viscount Mountgarret and later by Sir Lawrence Byford.

A lifelong Methodist and well-known local preacher, Sidney’s funeral service will be held at Snaith Methodist Church, near Goole, on January 4 at 11.30am followed by cremation at Pontefract Crematorium.

DAVID WARNER

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