A DEDICATED Netherfield FC supporter who gave years of voluntary service to the club has passed way at the age of 79.

Colin Askew grew up in Kendal and worked for many years at The Westmorland Gazette, but always found time to follow his home town team until his later years when crown green bowls became his sporting passion.

Mr Askew attended the old St George's School on Station Road before going on to the nearby Senior Boys' School, and enjoying many adventures with his school mates in the town.

He began work at Cropper's paper mill but Saturday work there restricted his opportunities to watch his beloved Netherfield, so he eventually switched jobs and began working at the Westmorland Gazette.

He was employed at the newspaper for many years in the advertising department, specialising in motor ads, where he became a popular figure with his many contacts.

But his devotion to Netherfield FC was a constant in his life from when he was a youngster.

His widow Joan described how he began as a ball boy and would often take the match ball down to Atkinson's sports shop to ensure it was inflated properly before the match.

As the years went by, Mr Askew helped the club in many ways, putting in countless hours of voluntary service, doing odd jobs at the Parkside Road ground and running the bar.

And he was instrumental in setting up the adjoining club, now called Finney's, which was then called The Park.

He was also heavily involved with the Ivy Leaf Club on Kent Street.

Mr Askew served on the committee there and later became chairperson then president as wife Joan took over the the role of chairperson.

He retired from The Westmorland Gazette in 2000 and in his retirement years, became a keen crown green bowler and was very proud of the trophy he won in a competition at the Victoria Bowling Club.

Mr Askew died peacefully at Heron Hill Care Home and his funeral was held at Beetham Hall Crematorium last Friday, June 28.

He will be sadly missed by his widow Joan and stepchildren Michael, Christine, Elaine and Pete.