Obituary - Ernest (Ernie) Richard Bickerstaff
Thursday 15th October 2020

Sefton Park Cricket Club has announced the death last weekend of Ernest Richard Bickerstaff following a long illness. He was 87 years old.

Ernie, as he was known, was a Sefton Park Cricket Club Trustee, former President and long time committee member.

He was born in Liverpool on 1st November 1932 and attended Quarry Bank School. After completing his National Service, Ernie was a Marketing/Sales Manager in shipping until his retirement.

A stylish left hand batsman and right arm bowler in his early days, Ernie joined Sefton as a schoolboy in 1946 and made his 1st XI début on 10th September 1949 in a 10 runs victory against New Brighton.

He headed the averages in the Sefton 2nd XI which won the Liverpool Competition in 1955. He averaged 45.50 with a highest score of 102 not out against Bootle.

He retired from playing at the early age of 32 after seeing out the 1965 season as captain of Sefton's 3rd XI.

Ernie made 200 1st XI appearances between 1949 and 1965, during which time he hit 2604 runs with 10 fifties, the highest being 96 at New Brighton in 1954. He took 42 wickets with a best of 7-29 as a 17 year old against Chester Boughton Hall in 1950. He also held 69 catches.

A fully committed member and loyal supporter of the club, Ernie joined the committee in 1965 and was Honorary Secretary from 1965 to 1968 and again from 1991 to 1994. He continued serving as Secretary for one year when he became President from 1994 to 1998. He was appointed a Club Trustee in 1997.

In his Secretary's report for 1968, Ernie commented "The new breathaliser (sic) law was introduced in England in 1967 and proved disastrous for the Club as bar profits fell dramatically." No doubt this was a view echoed by every club.

In recent years, Ernie moved to Ainsdale to be near his family and was not able to attend Sefton so often but was still seen in the club on a Friday night with his wife Norma and friends Wilf Johnstone and Sylvia Parker until he was unable to do so because of illness.

Ernie was a real gentleman.

Friends and colleagues offer their sincerest condolences to Ernie's wife Norma and children Derek, Susan and Philip and Sefton Park Cricket Club.