Tributes have been paid to an “unsung hero” of Chorley sport, who died suddenly after clearing snow from his front drive.

Jack Markland, 79, who gave decades of unpaid service to Chorley Cricket Club, collapsed at his home on Walgarth Drive on Saturday and could not be revived.

Jack who bought his home because it overlooked the club’s Windsor Park ground, was extremely well known and respected for his dedication to the club.

Chorley CC chairman Peter Mockett, said: “Jack Markland is one of those unsung heroes that over many years Chorley CC has been blessed with.

“He gave up endless hours of his own time on the maintenance of the ground and support of the club in general.

“Many of the people who have known him a lot longer than I have tell stories of him building new sight screens and digging drainage ditches and in later years he helped out on pitch preparation.

“Our thoughts are with his family but he will also be very sadly missed by Chorley Cricket Club.”

Jack, who before retirement worked as a joiner for Norweb, served on the club’s committee and spent countless hours working on the ground or assisting with the club’s coaching programme.

He leaves wife Margaret, sons Karl and Heath, daughter Dawn and grand daughter Chelsea.

Mrs Markland, said: “It was all very sudden. He had been out clearing the snow from the drive, but the doctor told me it could have happened at any time.

“Jack loved being involved with the cricket club and living so close by.

“We’ve never had a summer holiday since we moved here as we always had to go before or after the cricket season. The club was his passion.”

Jack’s funeral will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, February 6 at Charnock Crematorium.