Obituary - Harry Rylance
Sunday 27th January 2019

With great sadness we report the death today of Harry Rylance, following a long illness. He was 87 years old.

Harry was the father of former Sefton Park and New Brighton player Simon, and grandfather of Josh, now at Wallasey. His son in law is Chris Camden, the former Tranmere Rovers player who also played cricket as does his son, Luke.

Regarded by Neston Cricket Club to be the grandfather of their club, Harry was a man known to many within cricket in Cheshire and throughout Lancashire.

He was also one of a dedicated group of Individuals in the Lancashire Schools Cricket Association (LSCA) providing cricket for thousands of youngsters, managing County Age Group Cricket and developing players to fulfil their potential.

For over 30 years Harry worked alongside his great friend Colin Dunkerley, from 1980 to 1997 looking after the Lancashire Schools U19s and later on the U13s, as well as having an extensive involvement with Tony Hemingway in starting and then running the County U11 hardball competition, still managed by the LSCA today, as well as assisting with the ESCA National U11 finals at Oundle. 

Players such as Michael Atherton, Mike Watkinson, Warren Hegg, Graham Lloyd, Charles Dagnall, Mark Chilton and Glen Chapple, together with countless others still playing and enjoying their cricket around the leagues in Lancashire, all progressed at U19 level under the watchful guidance of Colin and Harry. 

Returning in 2001, when the much valued pair answered the call to step in to manage the U13s, which they did for the next five years, Harry helped to nurture a new and younger bunch of cricketers including Chris Tipper, Scott Stanworth, Luis Reece and Arron Lilley.

When the responsibility of U19 cricket passed from the LSCA to the Lancashire Federation in 1997, John Heaton in his book "Who'd Have Thowt LSCA: 90 not out", documenting the history of the LSCA's first 90 years, reproduced Colin Dunkerley’s final report as U19 Manager. It included the following;

"Harry became established as my right hand man and quietly took on lots of duties including first aid, organising the availability of players and arranging sponsorship. Like Charles (Charlie O’Mahony – also a selector and together with Bob Stamp and Bob Stanworth, part of a formidable management team) he had a repertoire of jokes to keep us entertained."

Harry always went about his business tirelessly, quietly and with no fuss. He was hugely respected by players, parents, coaches and fellow officials, Both Harry and Colin were made Life Members of the LSCA in 2007 and sadly both are now no longer with us.  We thank them and will miss them both.

Harry's funeral will be on Wednesday 13th February at 12:00 noon at Holy Family Catholic Church, 435 Pensby Road, Birkenhead CH61 9PG.