David Robins, who has died aged 79, was the current president of Clifton Cricket Club and a devoted and loyal servant to the club all his life. David served as treasurer for 35 years from1974 to 2009 during a period of huge transformation for the club - both on and off the field. As the business and turnover grew each year, he provided safe and reliable handling of the daily finances, in the days when all was done by hand. Regularity and accuracy were his watch words, ensuring the club gained a reputation as a good employer of stewards, bar staff and cricket professionals. The accountants appointed to do the annual audit of the ‘books’ always commented that this was their easiest job of the year due to the pristine nature of the accounts. David demonstrated immense dedication to duty and loyalty to the committee, where he was an ever-present contributor to meetings during all of his years in post.
David was made a life member in1986 and was elected president in 2017 - the two highest honours the club can bestow. He was one of the three trustees of the club and was still a serving member of both the general and finance committees.
David Michael Robins [D.M. Robins in the scorebook] followed his grandfather, Herbert, who was vice chairman for many years in the 1930’s, and his father, Arthur Robins, who served as both chairman and second team captain until his premature death in 1961. David began to appear in the second team in the early 1950’s as a right-handed batsman and made his first team debut in 1962, which the Journal newspaper reported at the time as ‘being given gradual first team experience and being second top scorer with 35 against Walkden Moor Meths’. A batsman with a correct technique and a solid defence, David would not give up his wicket easily, eventually becoming a first team regular by the early 1970’s. Despite his substantial frame, David stroked the ball rather than hitting powerfully. However, he recalled many times the occasion when he completely surprised himself by hitting opening bowler and Pakistani professional Anwar Khan clean over the scorebox at ‘long on’ with pure timing.
Between 1937 (when Clifton re-joined the Bolton & District Cricket Association) and 1983, the club won ten trophies. David Robins featured in seven of those achievements: he was a member of the 1959 second team which won the Halliwell Shield; the 1966, 1967 and1971 second teams which won the Hardcastle Shield; and he was a member of the first team who won the 1973 Cross Cup, and again in 1977. He played in the championship winning side of 1983 when the first team claimed their first league title, where he made a solid contribution in the middle order and which was undoubtedly the pinnacle of his playing career.
When his playing days were over, David - along with his wife June [also a life member] - were avid followers and watchers of the game: especially the first team. He became a valued and respected member of the selection committee for many years, using his vast experience and knowledge of the game. He was a keen supporter of the move from the Bolton Association to the Central Lancashire League in 2006 and as a league representative forged strong relations at club and league level. He continued in this role when the club became founder members of the Greater Manchester Cricket League in 2016, made even more enjoyable for him when he visited new grounds as club president from 2017.
He watched his last game at Clifton on 1st May sitting on his usual bench, wrapped up against the cold, enjoying the cricket and his first pint of Guinness for many months, whilst keeping an eye on the Wanderer’s score. For seventy years he had been a dedicated member - a quiet example of continuous service and loyalty. He will be very much missed and our sympathy is with June, Zandra and all of David’s family.
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