A Pudsey school’s dilapidated cricket pavilion is to be rebuilt and named in the memory of a former pupil and war hero who played for both Yorkshire and England.
Major William Booth was a talented batsman and bowler but his promising sporting career was ended when, as a part of the West Yorkshire Regiment in the First World War, he was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916. He was just 29 years old.
A sizeable bequest left to Fulneck School by the Booth family will now help fund the building of a replacement building, to be known as the Major William Booth Cricket Pavilion.
But, because there is a £20,000 funding shortfall, the independent school is now undertaking a series of activities to raise the money required to plug the financial gap.
The first of these was a “duck and dive” event on the school’s playing fields, which saw students from Fulneck’s junior and senior schools competing in a sponsored relay race around a course littered with challenges.
These included scrambling under a camouflage net, throwing cricket balls at stumps, competing in a sack race and weaving in and out of obstacles made from hoops, tape and poles, all made even more difficult by gale force winds.
Fulneck School Principal Deborah Newman said:
“The current cricket pavilion has served the school for many decades, but sadly time has finally caught up with it.
“It is no longer fit for purpose, hence us seeking to replace it with a modern building that will hopefully also serve the school teams, and those from nearby clubs in Leeds and Bradford, for many years to come.
“Thanks to a generous legacy left by Major Booth’s family, we are just £20,000 short and have now begun a fund-raising campaign.
“In recognition of this former pupil’s cricketing prowess, one that saw him play for both county and country, I’m proud to say the new building will be called ‘The Major William Booth Cricket Pavilion’.”
Work is expected to start at the beginning of next year and be completed in time for the start of the 2018 cricket season.