Tributes paid to village stalwart

TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who filled a pivotal role in his village cricket club and supported many aspects of his local community.The passing of Maurice Finbow, 87, has been described as the end of an era for his family, personal friends and contacts he made and kept both locally and around the world.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who filled a pivotal role in his village cricket club and supported many aspects of his local community.

The passing of Maurice Finbow, 87, has been described as the end of an era for his family, personal friends and contacts he made and kept both locally and around the world.

An agriculturalist, he made lifelong friends when he saved a Belgian family from near starvation during his Second World War service, and was also a Dunkirk veteran.

Paying tribute to Mr Finbow, friend and Cavendish Cricket Club colleague John Gladstone, said he did not believe the recently retired club president had ever said a bad word about anyone.


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Mr Gladstone said: "Everyone says that Maurice was a unique, wonderful and lovely man. He was a real gentleman, modest, kind, totally unpretentious, caring and very generous.

"He became president of the village cricket club in the early 1980s, after playing with the side for much of his life. He loved the ground and when he reached his 80th birthday even batted for a couple of overs at one of his annual, landmark president's days."

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Mr Gladstone said a few years ago Mr Finbow, with friend Basil Ambrose, took leading roles in securing the future of the local sports field for the cricket and football clubs, including the transformation of facilities.

He also gave generous support and time to many other aspects of the community.

"What he loved most was to see people enjoying themselves and coming together to share happy times. He made friends wherever he went.

"Before travelling to the Gambia he bought pencils and pens from our village post office and took them to a country school. He and his second wife Ann loved to visit the Maltese island of Gozo, where he made a special connection with a school for the severely disabled.

"On their last trip there in May last year, Maurice found the visit coincided with a pre-season tour by Sudbury Cricket Club, of which he was a vice president, and entertained the entire team to lunch.

"A balloon flight in his 80s, a walk on the bed of the Indian Ocean in a divers helmet, a helicopter landing on a glacier on Mount Cook, New Zealand, and a three-day train ride across Australia, were among his recent exploits," added Mr Gladstone.

Raised in Hundon, where his family kept a village shop, Mr Finbow attended the East Anglian School (now Culford), and a decade ago hosted a re-union of the all-conquering school soccer team of 1933. He also played hockey for Sudbury.

He undertook army training in Bury St Edmunds in 1939, and was evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940, but was back on French soil a few days after the initial D-Day landings four years later.

His late first wife Pemwas a teacher in Sudbury, and they lived in Glemsford for many years before moving to Cavendish in the 1970s. He remarried 20 years ago.

Following private cremation, a memorial service will be held at Cavendish Church at 3pm on Monday, March 1.

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