THE death has been announced of Wem's Allen Evans, one of Shropshire’s sporting stalwarts and a man who loved the town.

Allen Evans, 84, of Wem, was a tireless champion of Shropshire Cricket, the Wem Sports and Social Association and Wem Cricket Club.

His goddaughter, Hazel Ruscoe, paid tribute to a man that loved sport above all else and

She said: "Allen was a true Wemian and family man. He loved his hometown and was passionate about sport. He spent his life working for local sport and his legacy is clear to see in the town. He was a true champion of Shropshire sport.

"Allen grew up in Leek Steet, Wem and attended Wem Primary School and Wem Secondary Modern School.

"He almost made it into the Grammar School, but in his interview, Allen told the headmaster that his favourite subject was sport which he thought may have jeopardised his place."

After school, Hazel said that he joined Wem timber merchants Isherwoods to start a five-year cabinet-maker apprenticeship.

He worked building houses in Wem and later joined North Shropshire District Council as Clerk of Works where he remained until retirement and also taught carpentry skills.

However, it was Allen's passion for sport that stood out and aged 11, he joined Wem Cricket Club starting a 70-year association with the club, beginning as a prolific wicketkeeper and batsman.

Hazel added: "When his days behind the stumps came to an end, Allen joined the club’s committee and served as chairman for 14 years and later became president.

"He led fundraising campaigns and was instrumental in the club’s move from the Castlefields Ground to the new Kynaston Ground in Soulton Road.

"He also helped to shape county cricket when he joined the Shropshire Cricket Board and the Shropshire County Cricket Association.

"In 2011, he received a special award for his service to cricket when he received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar from the Shropshire Cricket Board.

"As part of the award, Allen and his wife, Jessie enjoyed a special trip to Lord’s for lunch and a tour of the home of cricket."

Other sporting highlights for Allen included many titles at Hawkstone Park, including a green jacket, scoring a hole-in-one and playing St Andrews.

A life-long Manchester United fan, he played football for Wem and Rubery Owen in Prees and was made an Honorary Townsman of Wem in 2006.

A thanksgiving service will be held at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Wem on Thursday, November 3 at 11.30am.