Tributes for devoted family man loyally associated with Hitchin CC for more than four decades – who always ‘wanted the game of cricket to be the winner’

The late Ian Burnell, third from the right next to Sachin Tendulkar during his 2008 visit to Lucas L

The late Ian Burnell, third from the right next to Sachin Tendulkar during his 2008 visit to Lucas Lane. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been pouring in for loyal devoted family man who also served Hitchin Cricket Club for more than four decades.

Secretary of Hitchin Club, Ian Burnell, sadly passed away on March, 6, at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage on March 6, aged 74, after contracting pneumonia.

Much-loved father and grandfather Ian – known as IB to many – served the club for more than 40 years in a variety of roles including playing as an all-rounder as well as an honorary secretary since 1997 and vice president since 2007 at their home in Lucas Lane,

Yorkshire-born Mr Burnell, cared deeply for the game of cricket, was a passionate advocate of developing youth cricket – and always wanted the best for the game in general.

Although he lived in Hitchin and worked in the insurance industry in Stevenage he was still very much a proud Yorkshireman with strong opinions who was widely read on a range of topics and issues.


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During his later years he took a keen interest in golf to keep fit, and also enjoyed country and western music.

Club chairman Ian Mills spoke with the Comet today. Paying tribute, he said: “He was a man who always wanted the game of cricket to be the winner.

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“He was a loyal clubman. He was respected by everyone and was a true friend, a great teammate and a wonderful person to have a pint with.

“He was someone whose opinion I greatly respected and listened to – as did everyone. He used to joke he was the guy who kept the chairman in check.

“IB always knew the right thing to do, and was massively supportive of everyone at the club including myself. He cared passionately about developing youth cricket.

“He will be very sadly missed. We knew he wasn’t in the best of health but to lose him was a massive shock.

“It’s really sad as he said one of his ambitions was to have a pint of beer in the new clubhouse at Lucas Lane. We’d say to him: ‘Of course you will, you’re wrapped in cotton wool’.

“But sadly that will never happen now.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad time.”

His funeral will take place tomorrow at 11am with a service St Mary’s Church and burial at St John’s Cemetery.

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