A KEEN sportsman who was originally from Cross Roads has died at the age of 82.

Geoffrey Smales, who was married with two sons, died on July 21.

He was the son of Norman and Evelyn Smales of Cross Roads, and was educated at Cross Roads and Haworth schools.

Mr Smales was well known in the village for being a successful cricket player for both Cross Roads and Oxenhope Cricket Clubs. He was also a keen footballer for Haworth School, Haworth Football Club and Keighley Minor.

He worked as a wool sorter at Merrall Mills, Lees and Henderson & Feather in Dalton Lane, Keighley.

He and his fiance Alma Walsh, who was also from Cross Roads, were married in September 1955.

Mr Smales and his wife emigrated to New Zealand with their two sons, Russell and Simon, in 1964.

His niece, Debbie Mellor, said: "They emigrated using the assisted package program that was popular with migrants at the time. He then continued with his profession of wool sorting.

"He was a lovely gentleman, a very nice individual who was caring and family orientated.

"He died in Kaiapoi near Christchurch, New Zealand."