the north face cap Blackburn club leads tributes to ‘perfectionist’ groundsman Roy Townsend
The former Blackburn Rugby Club first team captain and well known mountaineer is credited with transforming Cherry Tree Cricket Club’s pitch into one of the best in East Lancashire and was a ‘perfectionist’ during his time at the Ribblesdale League club.
Mr Townsend, of Hawkshaw Avenue, Darwen, died in the East Lancashire Hospice after a long battle against prostate cancer.
A keen cyclist and yachtsman, he also climbed most of the major mountain peaks in Europe and North America,
becoming one of the few people to scale the infamous North Face of Mount Dru in the French Alps.
In March 2002 he had a brush with death when he was caught in an avalanche as he and friend Freddie Snalam tackled an ice climb near Chamonix.
Mr Townsend sustained chest injuries. but his fellow climber was killed.
Cherry Tree Cricket Club chairman and close friend and rugby club team mate Brian Peake said: “Roy was a talented all round sportsman.
“He was a fine stand off at Blackburn Rugby Club where I met. him.
“In addition, he was a master yachtsman, an internationally known mountain climber, and a keen cyclist.
“He was a typical dour straight talking Yorkshireman with a dry sense of humour.
“Having played for Blackburn Northern and acted as groundsman, he came to Cherry Tree and played for the second and third teams while taking over groundsman duties.