NETHERFIELD Cricket Club has paid tribute to its former president after his death.

George Michael Rigg, affectionately known as 'Riggy', first became involved with Netherfield Cricket Club in 1984, and went on to shape its successes over the decades.

A minute's silence was held at Netherfield's T20 encounters against Kendal and St Anne's on June 20 and 22.

Born and educated in Kendal, he left school in 1959 opting to travel across Europe five years later, a sign of his love for globetrotting that would never leave him.

Returning to Cumbria in 1966, a year later would see him marry his beloved wife Petulia.

Away from home, it would be Netherfield that claimed his heart, first joining the club as a manager in the bar before going on to play roles as steward, treasurer, and eventually president of the club itself.

It was at that time four decades ago that Ian Heath, the current club secretary, first met Mike, who has witnessed the club grow alongside his long-time friend.

Ian said: "Mike instantly became well known in the bar, everyone liked him, just because he was a good host.

"He took over [as president] at a critical time - we were either going to remain as a small club or move forward, but we needed a certain type of person to make that happen.

"And, as it turned out, Mike was exactly that person."

His efforts would see Netherfield become a highly respected member of the Northern Premier League, as well as across Cumbrian and international cricket.

Ill health would be a recurring problem for Mike, including a long term battle with leukemia, 'serious' struggles with Covid-19, and two other cases of cancer.

"He really wanted to make it another month to reach his 80th but the fight was finally lost," Ian added.

"All I know is that, if Mike hadn't steered the club at that precise moment in time, we wouldn't be where we are now."