Tributes paid to Dick Wildgoose

Tributes have been paid after Shropshire’s Dick Wildgoose, one of the pioneers of disability cricket in Britain along with his brother Fred, passed away.

In the early 1990s Dick and Fred Wildgoose from Oswestry were the pioneers of the Cricket Federation for People with Disabilities.

The Foundation’s aim was to ensure cricket was a game for everyone no matter what their circumstances.

Their work with disabled cricketers saw them invited to Buckingham Palace in 2006 as winners of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and win a national cricketing OSCA (Outstanding Service to Cricket Award) in 2011 which was presented by former England captain Mike Gatting (see picture).

It was all reward for their pioneering work in developing opportunities for people with different types of physical and learning disabilities to play the game.

Dick was also the co-founder of the Shropshire Disabled Cricket Association – and still held the title of Honorary President in recognition of his development of disability cricket.

Before the brothers took on the role with disability cricket, Dick was also heavily involved in youth cricket and coach education in Shropshire, helping many people develop a love of the game.

Current Shropshire Disability squads coach Graham Furber said: “I’m devastated to hear of the death of a dear friend and one of the true pioneers of disability cricket in this country, Dick Wildgoose. 

“He is someone who meant so much to us within the cricketing fraternity and someone, who along with his late twin brother Fred, did so much to improve the lives of people with a disability through sport. 

“Farewell to one of life’s great gentlemen, I can’t tell you how much I respected you and Fred and you will be so sorely missed by us all. 

“The sincerest condolences from Pam and me to Nita, Julie Oliver and John Wildgoose, your respective families and Dick’s many friends.”

Lead Shropshire Disability squads Coach Jonathan Caldecott added: “Such a sad loss, Dick was a wonderful man. I have my own memories having played cricket against both of the brothers and the laughs we had together in the pavilion at the end of the day.”

Fred died in 2016.

Cricket Shropshire Lead Officer Steve Reese said: “Everyone in the Shropshire cricket family will be sad to learn of the death of Dick Wildgoose.

“He, along with his brother Fred, really were true pioneers in championing disability cricket, not just in Shropshire but across the whole country.

“Their mantra that cricket should be a sport for everyone is something that we wholeheartedly endorse today and hopefully we can continue his brilliant work of promoting it as a game for all.

“Condolences from everyone at Cricket Shropshire to all Dick’s family and friends.”

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