TRIBUTES have been paid to a legendary cricketer described as the best spin bowler in the world during his heyday who went on to show his talent for Bolton clubs.
West Indies international Sonny Ramadhin, who burst onto the world cricket stage in the 1950s, played for Little Lever and Daisy Hill in the latter part of his glittering career.
The 5ft 4in professional, who played 43 international matches and claimed a whopping 158 wickets, has died aged 92.
After setting the world alight for the West Indies, he played for Lancashire in 1964/65 and then for Lincolnshire from 1968 to 1972.
Sonny went on to secure a “remarkable reputation” as a club professional and he lit up the Central Lancashire League with Crompton and Radcliffe.
He also spent a couple of seasons in Little Lever and Daisy Hill in Bolton.
After retiring, Sonny settled in Saddleworth – where he also played – with his wife June and went on to run a pub for 25 years.
His former international teammates also used to pop in for a drink when they were in the area.
Sonny, left, with his West Indies spin partner Alf Valentine. Between them they took just short of 300 test wickets
Delph and Dobcross Cricket Club president Peter Gledhill, 81, remembers playing with Sonny.
Delph and Dobcross Cricket Club president Peter Gledhill, 81, remembers playing with Sonny. Peter said: “He was a fantastic player.
“Sonny could play six different spin bowls in the same over.
“He was very famous for the West Indies and was the best in the world at the time.
“He was also a very good person as well.”
Cricket ran through Sonny’s family with his son Craig recently completing his own remarkable milestone of playing for 50 consecutive seasons at Friarmere Cricket Club in Delph.
Sonny’s grandson Kyle Hogg forged a successful county career as well as playing at Greenfield Cricket Club.
Delph and Dobcross Cricket Club representative Lee Harrison met Sonny and enjoyed spending time in his company.
He added: “He was a really charming bloke and you would not have known he had been a top international sportsman, he was very unassuming.”
In its obituary, the club have sent their “sincere condolences to Craig and the rest of the Ramadhin family”.
The club added: “Sonny was a gentleman and we’re proud he represented our club so well.”