Tributes to Fernhurst sporting star

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Tributes have been paid to a stalwart of the local cricketing scene who recently passed away.

The funeral of Fernhurst Cricket Club chairman Geoffrey Holmes at Guildford Crematorium was followed by a wake at the village recreation ground sports pavilion where he had spent much of his time.

Mr Holmes became chairman of the cricket club when it was going through a rough patch, lacking players and playing only Sunday friendlies.

He steered it through the doldrums, supporting the initiative to join the I’Anson League, and making the club look at itself critically.

He has left it with an able Saturday XI looking forward to the 2012 season and a Sunday XI which has had one of its best seasons for a long time.

Over a weekend of cricket Mr Holmes would score, tell a few stories, discuss the state of the nation and the village, help with the teas and promenade around the boundary.

He was born in Worthing, but moved to Camelsdale when he was one year old with his sister Gloria, to a house his father had built. He went to Camelsdale School and on to Midhurst Grammar before training at the London School of Hairdressing.

He followed this career for a while in Haslemere before joining his father in the building trade in the 1970s, where he particularly enjoyed working on old buildings, including churches and the monastery at Chithurst.

A man of many parts, he also wrote sketches for the Dave Allen TV series, and was a member of the Haslemere Thespians, usually the comedy act in the pantomimes.

It was while performing stand-up comedy at the Good Knight Club that he met his wife Denise, whom he married in 1975 and moved to Fernhurst.

Mr Holmes organised fundraising quizzes for the cricket club and was a keen supporter of the quizzes held in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at the Red Lion pub in Fernhurst.

He was also a trustee of the Fernhurst Club, where he spent many an evening.