Lowerhouse CC are sorry to hear of the passing of former official and well known citizen of the town, Malcolm Yardley.
Malcolm was very well known for his outstanding athletic achievements and his sports shop business on Hall Street. At the club he officiated as a captain, manager, selector, trainer and committeeman from the late 1980s to 1990s. He was also first eleven trainer at Belvedere FC.
Malcolm led quite a life. He was born in Oldham, moving to Coventry where the Luftwaffe levelled his house during the Second World War. That led to Malcolm’s parents moving the family to Leicester where Malcolm showed his outstanding sporting prowess. He represented Leicester schoolboys at football, cricket and rugby – but it was as an athlete that Malcolm achieved world fame.
In the 1960 Rome Olympics Malcolm represented the country in the 400 metres and 400 metres relay. He reached the quarter final in the 400 metres, with the team finishing 5th in the relay final. Incredibly though it seems now, the team flew out on the Thursday and Malcolm ran on the Sunday. Having had more rest for the relay Malcolm recorded his best time of 47.26 seconds.
In 1961 Malcolm was in the GB team which was considered the best in the world at the 400 metres and he was still at the top in 1970, competing in the Commonwealth games.
By this time Malcolm was running for Blackburn Harriers who benefitted greatly from his skill as they rose through the running club ranks. I understand that Malcolm still holds their 100 and 200 metres records. Malcolm was held in such esteem that tributes to Malcolm have been made by such greats as Mary Rand and Ann Packer.
Having moved to Burnley, Malcolm was well known in the town for his sports shop in the town centre. Having provided us with cricket gear Malcolm became involved in the club as son Stephen began playing. Everyone from the time remembers Malcolm as a very helpful man and he ran training programmes for the teams. As captain of the 3rd eleven Malcolm was hugely enthusiastic and encouraging.
Malcolm was a lovely man. I remember him as always friendly with a smile on his face and great sense of humour. Malcolm was always able to laugh at himself and this came in very useful on the occasion where having selected a new bat from the shop, it promptly broke in half, first ball.
Malcolm often stood up to the plate ; playing for the 2XI at short notice when someone failed to turn up , becoming the 2XI team manager and 3XI captain to bring on youngsters and working hard as a committeeman and selector..
We at Lowerhouse CC have fond memories of Malcolm, one of that band of people who put their heart and soul into the club when times were difficult
We send our deepest sympathies to Malcolm’s family
Funeral details will be posted when known