Obituary: Gerald Wilkinson, councillor

Gerald Wilkinson
Gerald Wilkinson
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Gerald Wilkinson, who has died after a short illness, was a long-serving Wetherby and Leeds councillor.

Born and educated in Bradford, he did his National Service in 1952-1954, and while in the RAF became a football referee for the service’s north east league, progressing to the Football Combination, where he officiated on the grounds of Manchester United, Newcastle, Leeds, Arsenal and Chelsea.

His highlight in local football was being selected to referee the 1964-5 West Riding County Challenge Cup Final. He was also an active golfer and cricketer.

He pursued a career in the textile trade, moving around the country, eventually settling in Wetherby with his family, opening a soft furnishing shop.

He joined Wetherby town council in 1991, becoming mayor in 1997, and later served as Deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds, as well as on several municipal committees and boards.