THE death of local cricket legend Peter “PC” Graham at the age of 60, following a courageous battle against ill health, has saddened his wide circle of friends and cricketing colleagues.

Peter gained friends wherever he went with his amiable nature and generous spirit. He also gained the respect of everyone with his exploits on the cricket field, from former Australian captain Allan Border – who once described him as the best player never to have played county cricket – to the smallest youngster starting out in the game who benefitted from his wise words.

Peter was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on Christmas Day 1954 later moving south to make his home in Wharfedale.

He firstly lived in Burley-in-Wharfedale and then created his family home in Menston with wife Shirley and their three daughters.

Peter was one of the best bowlers to have ever played in the Bradford Cricket League and one of a select few to take 1,000 wickets in the league playing for Yorkshire Bank, Spen Victoria and Pudsey St Lawrence before playing for Yeadon where he became captain. He later moved on to Bradford and Bingley and ended his playing career in the Airedale and Wharfedale League with Guiseley.

He played Minor Counties cricket on 130 occasions for his native Northumberland from 1976 to 1996 and also represented the Yorkshire Cricket Board in 1999.

Wherever he played Peter maintained the same high standards of performance. He was also known to many as the proprietor of Otley sports shop The Sports Bag before opening a new business in Yeadon, PC Sports, where he had traded for over 20 years.

Rachel O’Connor, who was secretary at Yeadon CC when Peter played there, said: “Peter was a true gentleman on and off the field of play. His standard of performance was exceptional and he was admired wherever he played.

“He was well respected in the local community and was involved with a number of football teams as well as cricket. He supported many local clubs in many ways and was always willing to offer advice.”