Members of Banbury’s sporting community have paid tribute to Robert Mitchelmore, who died aged 69 at Churchill hospice in Oxford at the weekend.
Mr Mitchelmore leaves behind his wife Pauline, their son Jamie and grandchildren Ben and Sophie.
Born in Bloxham and brought up in Banbury, Mr Mitchelmore, or ‘Bob Mitch’ has had associations with Banbury Cricket Club and Banbury Rugby Club spanning more than four decades.
The former Barclays bank manager was team captain for Banbury RUFC from 1971 to 1972 before later serving as club chairman and president.
He also served as president of Banbury Cricket Club and treasurer at Sandford St Martin Cricket Club.
“All good clubs need people who are stalwart and that is exactly what Bob was,” said Martin Phillips, chairman of Banbury Cricket Club.
“He was an unsung hero; he was the sort of guy who worked hard and got things done.
“He ran the Hundred Club at the cricket club and the 500 Club at the rugby club. He must have raised tens of thousands over the years. He was quite a gregarious sort of fellow and he enjoyed the banter of the changing rooms when he was younger and a conversation at the bar after a game.”
John Colegrave, chairman of Banbury RUFC, said Mr Mitchelmore was a “champion” of local sport and took delight in seeing the next generation of young hopefuls succeed.
He said: “He was a great proponent of amateur sport at a local level and he believed in young people being able to play amateur sport to a high level.
“There was nothing he liked better than to go out to see the young people playing well, never minding the result. He will be greatly missed by the club.”