Although the bowls season is still some way off, the New Year has brought bad news for all local players and supporters of the game, with the deaths of three highly regarded players, after they all bravely battled their long illnesses.

John Parkin, of Sutton, was probably the best known of the trio, after a long and successful career, which chiefly took place in the South Craven area.

He began his career on the old Glusburn Green, which was opposite Hayfields Mill, and when that closed, he played for Crosshills, Sutton and Cononley at the top level in the Skipton and Bradford Leagues.

He also turned out for Peel Park in the Bradford Parks.

John was a very good player and won the Skipton Merit in both 1988 and 2008, plus the Spring Floodlit event in 1994.

It was not just the individual game in which John excelled either, as he tasted victory in the Summer Doubles of 1990 with his old friend Barry Reay.

He also won the Skipton Veterans' Singles at Sutton Park in 2012.

John represented the area at Inter-District level too and was a very difficult player to beat, while always making sure he retained his sporting ways, win or lose.

Henry Czalkowski was the ‘gentle giant’ of Addingham Bowls Club, who came to prominence when they reached the Skipton League’s top flight in the late nineties and early noughties.

He often proved to be a difficult player to beat on his day and he memorably won the Spring Doubles back in 1997 with Brian Wild at Cononley.

David Greenwood, of Oakworth, was a popular figure in the local community and will be best remembered for his exploits at cricket and football for local teams.

He also played bowls for the Oakworth Veterans team in the Worth Valley and really enjoyed his matches after his retirement.

Condolences go to all concerned at this sad time.