Tribute paid after 'fine Lancaster sportsman' passes away

A fine all-round Lancaster sportsman who was regarded as a "Skerton lad through and through” has passed away.

By Debbie Butler
Monday, 18th April 2022, 11:41 am

Tribute has been paid to the former Skerton Liberal Club treasurer, James Michael Campbell, who was always known as Mick or Cammer.

Mick’s schooldays were spent at St Joseph’s Juniors, then to Cathedral before going to the Junior Technical School.

He played football for Standfast Dyers and Printers and Mayfield United, and cricket for St Joseph’s Club.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Mayfield United in 1966 outside the BRSA Club on Morecambe Road. Back row, Ray Harrison (Manager), Mick Parkinson, Bob Chadwick, Rod Holmes, Roger Dixon, Norman Harrison, George Nelson (chairman). Front row, Dave Quinn, Bernard Kitchen, Ray Ireland, Brian Hayhurst, Mick Campbell.

Lancaster Guardian football historian, Terry Ainsworth, first met Mick about 20 years ago when they used to hold football reunions at Skerton Liberal Club where Mick was the treasurer for many years.

"Mick was always a delight to talk to and very enthusiastic about whatever he was doing,” said Terry.

“He spent a huge part of his sporting life on Ryelands Park, mainly on the top pitch for the Dyers at football and St Joseph’s Club at cricket where he scored many runs and took plenty of wickets, a real all-rounder.”

The Standfast Dyers football team was managed by Jack Livesey, assisted by George Nelson, and in the Sunday League, Mayfield United were managed by Ray Harrison who was known by everyone in the district.

Standfast Dyers and Printers circa 1975 at the College of Further Education. Back row, AN Other, AN Other, George Nelson (manager), Jimmy Atkinson, Mick Hargreaves, David Pike, Bob Brown, Richard Wilson, Danny Kilifin. Front row, Mick Campbell, Andy Hurst, Paul Campbell (mascot), Peter Lofthouse, Reg Campbell, Alan Kenny.

Terry said: “I played cricket with Ray for Williamson’s and he never wore pads but always insisted that we polished off the opposition so he could get home in time to watch Dr Who, another sadly missed.

“Another good friend, Mick Halbard, told me that Cammer was a good footballer, playing on the right wing, a terrific penalty taker who doesn’t remember missing one out of the 30 he took but he was a bit volatile, which wasn’t unusual in the North Lancashire League in those far off days of the 1960s and 70s."

Mick also played crown green bowls for the Liberal Club winning many trophies and as another Skerton lad, Ken Lockley, recalls, he was known by many as Mr Liberal.

Terry said: “Mick Campbell in his life was a loyal clubman giving everything to the area he was so proud of, Skerton, and he will be sadly missed by those who knew him.”

Mick Campbell.
St Joseph’s cricket team with Mick Campbell, with bat, ready for the challenge, and teammates, Mick Halbard, Dave Akister, Geoff Crossley, Dave Lamb and Billy Burnett.