Heath Old Boys Association


Obituaries


David Butterworth [Heath 1953–1958]

John Robert David Butterworth (Sen) died peacefully at Overgate Hospice, aged 73 years on . He was born in Cheshire and moved to Halifax at the age of five and from Holy Trinity Junior School he progressed to Heath Grammar School. He was forever grateful for his education at these schools. By the age of fourteen he had decided to become a solicitor and after leaving school he became articled to George Hanson and Jim Bastian of Clarkson, Thomas & Hanson in Halifax. He qualified at the age of 22 after attending the Law Society College of Law at Lancaster Gate, London for six months prior to his finals. (He also learned a great deal about London’s social scene and watched Football at Arsenal and Tottenham.)

From 1965 to 2001, David was in practice in Hebden Bridge at Clarksons. From 1976, he was in partnership with Peter Holt. David enjoyed his career and was never short of work. He became an active member of the Halifax Law Society, specialising in organising its Annual Dinner. He was President of the Society in 1993 and became an honorary member in 2014.

‘Sen’ was a sports enthusiast from an early age, developing a love of Rugby (both codes) principally as a spectator. He rarely missed a rugby league match in the halcyon days when Halifax RLFC could contest the likes of Wigan and St Helens. He frequently joined the Heath Old Boys RU tours and groups attending internationals at Twickenham. He went to British Grand Prix events, Wembley Soccer and Rugby League Finals, the Boat Race and the St Leger and he saw Boycott score his 100th century.

However, cricket was Sen’s real passion and he played in teams at every age-group throughout his school years and at Warley, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden and Mytholmroyd Cricket Clubs. His physique was made for fast bowling and he delivered a steady pace from a great height in a style which was consistent and testing but not wildly aggressive. Sen didn’t pretend to bat and he made No.11 his own! His love of cricket never diminished. When Sen’s playing days were over he became an outstanding and very popular after-dinner speaker, gracing Annual Dinners throughout Calderdale and beyond with his wit, humour and priceless memories. He never charged for these services.

Later in life Sen took up Crown Green Bowling and bowled at four local clubs. He also took part in Indoor Flat Bowling. As well as following sport, David attended ten National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall.

After marrying Sheila (Bancroft), they lived in Mytholmroyd for seven years before moving to Hebden Bridge for the next (almost) 40 years. His family always enjoyed good holidays but never ventured abroad. It was 1995 before he was persuaded to catch ‘the travel bug’ — after which he and Sheila visited many countries by one means of transport or another!

David, loved and loving husband of Sheila, father of Richard and Chris, adored and adoring granddad of Oliver, Chloe Rose, Benjamin and Kika, a dear father in law and a brother to Charles and Peter. He was much loved by his family and he enjoyed and supported their activities as much as possible. A good friend to many.

David’s final message was, Think of the good times because there were plenty of them.

First published ; updated