Road to immortality as Brian Close remembered in village he called home

Brian Close batting in a Boxing Day match with Alwoodley Cricket Club in 1969
Brian Close batting in a Boxing Day match with Alwoodley Cricket Club in 1969
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It was once the Shoulder of Mutton, a cosy Yorkshire pub not far from where he lived.

The legendary county cricketer Brian Close will have passed the site many times, and the housing development now being built there will have a fitting memorial.

A new street being constructed to link the houses to the main road will be unveiled on Friday as Brian Close Walk, following a representation by the town council in Baildon – where a nearby avenue has previously been designated Richard Whiteley Drive, after another local hero.

Close captained Yorkshire to four county championship titles and remains the youngest player to have made a test debut for England. He was 18.

He went on to play in 22 tests, captaining seven, and in a career spanning 30 years scored nearly 35,000 runs and made 52 centuries.

Close, who was appointed a CBE in 1972, was born in nearby Rawdon and spent his life in the surrounding area.

The street sign bearing his name will be unveiled by his widow, Vivien.

Joe Ashton, who sits on Baildon Council, said when the idea was mooted that Close had been “well known and loved”, adding: “We felt this particular road should be dedicated to him.”