A POPULAR Basingstoke man, who played cricket and football for several North Hampshire teams for more than two decades, sadly died on Boxing Day at the age of 86.

Ian Crossley, who spent many years involved with sports teams in the Basingstoke area, died peacefully at Beech Tree Care Home in Overton on December 26.

He is survived by his wife Lori, son Matt and daughter Melanie, and grandchildren.

Ian's funeral will be held on Monday, January 23, at Basingstoke Crematorium, followed by a wake at Basingstoke cricket club.

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His son Matt said Ian was a kind and outgoing man.

“He was always upbeat and full of energy,” said Matt, who has played football for Wycombe Wanderers under Martin O’Neill.

“Dad was quite well-known, maybe not over the last few years, but within the 80s and 90s when he played a lot of cricket and football in the local area.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian with the Basingstoke cricket team Ian with the Basingstoke cricket team (Image: Newsquest)

Ian’s younger brother Andy said Ian was a “superb organiser” whose career was in sales.

“He was a Manchester lad who moved to the south after hearing about a job opportunity from former cricketer and professional footballer Bernie Harrison,” Andy said.

“Ian joined as a sports and social secretary for Portals in Overton and then got involved with various sports club here.”

He then joined the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Cricket club at Mays Bounty and enjoyed playing cricket for Basingstoke and veteran teams for more than 40 years.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian (standing, far right, with handlebar moustache) with the Mortimer team. Ian’s son Matt was mascot in the front row (circa 1972) Ian (standing, far right, with handlebar moustache) with the Mortimer team. Ian’s son Matt was mascot in the front row (circa 1972) (Image: Newsquest)

Ian set up the North Hampshire branch of Manchester United supporters club.

He also played for Overton football teams like Portals and Laverstoke Park Albion, and managed Winchester City football club.

He started Overton Beechdown Boys football team and enjoyed success in the Peter Houseman and Hampshire boys leagues.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian with Bernie Harrison at Basingstoke cricket club Ian with Bernie Harrison at Basingstoke cricket club (Image: Newsquest)

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian Crossley Ian Crossley (Image: Newsquest)

He then moved to Basingstoke in 1977 and became instrumental in a number of youth football teams.

He organised football tours to USA, Germany and Holland for the boys' teams.

During this time, Ian and his wife Lori organised a number of fundraising activities so that every boy in the team could go for these tours.

He was still busy working – by now he had moved to Leyton Ferns selling tea and coffee – but still made time to manage the Hampshire Youth Football team and run the Overton Beechdown boys team.

Hampshire Chronicle: Ian at Aldershot FC Ian at Aldershot FC (Image: Newsquest)

Ian became manager and coach for Newbury Town FC in the late 1980s and later became commercial manager for Aldershot FC and Wealdstone FC.

He carried on playing cricket for various veteran teams well into his 70s and loved to play all sports and get involved in coaching football and cricket.