David Myers

RACONTEUR, wit, humorist, and formerly a high-ranking civil servant, David Anthony Myers, who has died aged 71, also had a lifelong passion for sport.

David Myers

The last day of his life was spent watching the one-day cricket international on television. Competition of any sort appealed to him, and family holidays were notable for the games he devised, whether relay races, obstacle races, cricket games, rounders, darts, treasure hunts, fancy dress events and sandcastle and poetry competitions.

He soaked up general knowledge and, with a phenomenal memory, was adept at winning, then setting, quizzes.

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He expected others to have as good a memory as his own, surprising family and friends with a sudden inquiry on the lines of: “What were you doing 32 years ago today?”

Family tradition has it that he joined Liversedge Cricket Club in 1976 and never really went home again.

In light of his subsequent family life it is to be taken with a pinch of salt, but he did become secretary, chairman, and last year was made life president.

Mr Myers coached and supported young cricket players at the club, and followed his son Richard around the country as he played for Yorkshire Colts and Humberside County, and the Combined Services team.

Born in Odsal, Bradford, he was the younger son of Harold and Hilda Myers, his father being a sales representative and later manager of a Bradford firm that sold and made headstones.

He went to Carlton Grammar School, passing the civil service exam when he was 16, being the fourth top candidate in the country. He went to work for the Ministry of Labour in 1961, and it was at Bradford Employment Exchange where he met and fell in love with Bronwyn Oates. They were married in 1965 and later had four children.

He rose through the ranks, becoming employment benefit manager at the Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Scunthorpe employment benefit offices.

He then became area benefit manager for the region, based in York, and later took on roles in developing the Jobseekers’ Allowance and investigating fraud on a strategic level based at the Department of Employment in Sheffield.

Mr Myers took early retirement when he was 54 and the civil service departments were reorganised. He was invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party in recognition of his long service.

The family had moved to Mirfield in 1987 and took many notable holidays together, the East coast – particularly Scarborough, Sandsend and Whitby, a favourite destination.

Mr Myers had a talent for making people laugh with his jokes, witticisms, and fund of anecdotes. His sense of humour was catered for by many classic TV comedy series, and he could recite chunks of the Monty Python scripts.

He is survived by his wife Bronwyn, their four children Alison, Helen, Catherine and Richard, and by 14 grandchildren and a great-grand daughter.