David Gill

David Gill

27 Oct 2023

The club are saddened to learn of the passing of former player, David Gill who died peacefully in hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning following a fall at his home a day prior.

David was fondly remembered by many former players and supporters at Delph. His arrival heralded a hugely successful period for the club in the proceeding two decades. The indomitable John Bacon, Delph’s president at the time and a man that would never take ‘no’ for an answer, enticed him to move from Greenfield during the winter of 1968. 

Silverware was never far away for the man who was able to slot in the middle order. He was a reliable batsman who knitted the innings together on surfaces which could best be described as ‘lively’. In fact, during his final season at the club in May 1984, Austerlands’ towering West Indian pace bowler Balfour Patterson (who would later be signed by Lancashire) knocked him off his feet. His response? A rapid score of 46! A crucial innings inside a match that was tied with both teams finishing with 191. 

In 1969, he was part of a title-winning team in his first season, Delph’s first Championship since the Second World War, one which triggered a haul of fifteen major trophies in fourteen seasons. An unprecedented era of success which saw Delph dominate the Saddleworth League for the next two decades. He would be part of eight Hollingworth Cup Championship successes and helped lift the Tanner Cup on seven occasions. 1972 and 1973 were double wins, as was 1979, with David an important part of each team, carefully assembled by Mr Bacon.

During this golden period, he would become teammates with some outstanding players and a compelling cast list of characters. Professionals such as Dougie Clarke, Peter Wilson, Sonny Ramadhin, Mike Richardson, Keith Barker and Bob Arrowsmith. Loyal club men were teammates, sharing the dressing room with the likes of Phil Whitehead, Tony Dust, Ray Anchor and Ray Jones. He also encouraged emerging talent from the likes of Graeme Simpson, Grant Jones and Dave Thomas. 

His passion for cricket clearly rubbed off on his two sons, Peter and Paul Gill who shared some of the same successes David did towards the end of his career. Peter, was an uncompromising upper order batsman and Paul, who would later go on to gain his County cap with Leicestershire, was a skillful wicketkeeper batsman who would continue the triumphs at Delph into the 1990’s.

Earlier in Paul’s career, experienced gloveman Tony Dust was at the helm, forcing Paul to gain first team experience at fierce derby rivals Uppermill. The fixtures were always traditionally played out on the Whit weekend, with a bumper crowd always guaranteed and Paul faced his father on three occasions in the 1979 season. On one of those occasions, a crunch Tanner Cup semi-final played at Leafields, David compiled a crucial 46 to edge the contest. 

He played final match for Delph on the 15th September 1984 and brought an end to his playing career with a tidy 1-3 from two overs to claim the final Saddleworth wicket. Since his playing retirement he spent many of his spectating days at his former cricketing home at Greenfield CC, with of course the occasional social visit to Delph to catch up with old friends. He will be sadly missed.

David’s funeral is yet to be arranged and will be announced here in due course.


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