All members of Benwell Hill C.C. will have been saddened to learn of the recent death of our long serving President.
A Memorial Service for Norman Green will take place on Friday October 18th at St Mary`s Church Ponteland at 1.30pm and afterwards at Benwell Hill Cricket Club at c.2.30pm.
The family would like attendees to wear their own Sports Club ties in recognition of Norman`s service and admiration for grass root sports.
With the help of Norman`s sons Michael and Colin and his nephew Gordon Harrison what follows is a short appreciation of a long life extremely well lived.
Norman Green was born on September 25th 1928 some 20 minutes before his twin brother Ken, who survives him. Their arrival must have been something of a surprise as it occurred 11 years after the birth of their elder sister Marjorie.
The twins were proper West End boys having been brought up firstly in Acanthus Avenue and latterly 100 Hadrian Road in Fenham. They attended Wingrove Primary School and latterly Pendower Technical School which is no longer there but famously had its playground on the roof.
Norman left school in his mid teens to be an `audit clerk` with a firm of Newcastle Accountants studying in his own time to become a Chartered Secretary. When he qualified he became a Director and Company Secretary of Felling Zinc Oxide Company. In the early 60`s Norman moved both house and job to Ponteland where he worked for Ponteland Motor Company followed by a spell as Finance Director of the Bowey Construction Group. A final career move was also in the construction industry for Dorin Construction followed by retirement in 1992.
Sport was always a huge part of Norman`s life. He played football for Fenham Boy`s Club and met his future wife Doreen there before a long and happy marriage that produced two similarly sport loving boys Michael and Colin (and subsequently five much loved grandchildren). In his early teens Norman became a member of Benwell Hill Cricket Club an association that lasted the best part of eighty years.
Norman was an off spinner who played mostly second team cricket but it was through making an immense contribution in various administrative roles that Norman will take his place in the Benwell Hill Pantheon. Unsurprisingly he was called on to act as Treasurer and he followed this with a 5 year stint as Chairman. For the best part of the last 20 years Norman acted as President of the Club rarely missing a Saturday game at the Hill and always taking a keen interest in how the `ship was being steered`.
Norman`s stint as Chairman covered my spell as First Team Captain and he could not have been more supportive especially when the going got tough. In 1993 the Club led by Norman took what was then a momentous decision to hire an Overseas Professional and the Chairman made it part of his job to ensure South African Chris Craven was happy and settled even inviting him on occasion for Sunday Lunch. As I look back it was probably that single decision to recruit an Overseas that changed the culture of the Club forever.
Norman enjoyed his retirement and it was only latterly that he was unable to enjoy a few holes of golf at Ponteland Golf Club or bowls at Ponteland Bowls Club where he was an equally popular and long standing member of both organisations. Tom Williamson tells me he was also an excellent Bridge player who played competitively every Wednesday night.
Only a few weeks ago the Club staged its Annual Presidents Game and Norman with the sterling help of Colin and his wife made a herculean effort to get to the ground. When he arrived the field was full of children enjoying the game and I will always recall his wise words when he told me that was what it was all about - in other words `the game is the thing`.
Norman Green - a true gentleman and a great man of Benwell Hill Cricket Club.
October 1 2019