Tributes paid as Dales sport mourns loss of Alan, 74

Tributes have been paid to a stalwart of the local sporting scene who has died at the age of 74.

Alan Hopkinson, who passed away last Wednesday, had particularly strong links to the local cricket and snooker scenes, being a heavily associated with Wirksworth Cricket Club and Bolehill Institute.

He joined the latter, then known as Bolehill Men’s Institute, when he was 15-years-old and remained a member thereafter.

For many years he captained the snooker team as well as serving in virtually every other capacity during his long association with the club and with Bolehill in general.

He also served as secretary and treasurer of the Darley Dale and District Snooker League where he was a popular and highly respected figure.

A keen cricketer from an early age, Alan first represented Carsington CC and then, for many years, Wirksworth CC prior to its amalgamation with neighbours Middleton.

Wirksworth & Middleton CC’s Maurice Ingham said: “Alan’s death has shocked and saddened all of us.

“It is tempting to describe Alan, in his recreational roles, as irreplaceable.

“In the cricket club, at least, there are in fact a number of members whose playing days may be drawing to a close and whose talents and enthusiasms for continuing to serve and develop the club are apparent.

“It is surely because of the example and influence of Alan - and the few people like him - that this is so.”

Alan married his wife Joyce in 1959 and had three sons and five grandsons. His son David has captained Wirksworth & Middleton’s second XIs to three successive promotions.