UPPERMILL FC and Uppermill Cricket Club were saddened to learn of the death of Peter Rhodes, a legend at both, aged 68.
Peter, known to everyone as ‘Kelly’, died at the Royal Oldham Hospital having not long ago been diagnosed with cancer.
He played left wing and midfield for the first and second teams at Uppermill FC and was renowned as having a fabulous left foot.
He also managed the reserves in the late 1990s and still played well into his fifties as sweeper for the third team.
Peter, who lived in Uppermill, was still starring for Uppermill FC’s team which played in the Greater Manchester Walking Football League of which was he was a founder member.
Uppermill FC secretary Michelle Simpson said: “Kelly was always a great competitor, highly respected by all and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
“He was one of my best players in the walking football team scoring some lovely goals. He will be sorely missed by everyone at the club.”
He had a spell at Diggle FC earlier in his career and played cricket for Friarmere and Uppermill.
Peter began his playing days at Uppermill aged 10 and then featured alongside his brother Alan at Friarmere before returning to Uppermill where he was a member of their 1978 Tanner Cup winning side.
Uppermill official Jim Bradbury recalled: “Kelly was a gritty left-handed batsman who didn’t give away his wicket easily.
“He was reliable and starred for Uppermill for many years. It was a measure of how good a cricketer he was that he also played for the league team.
“He was a great cricketer, great cricketer and a great lad.”
Peter, who was a driving instructor, leaves his wife Joan and niece Nicola.
Players from Uppermill FC second team and Elton Vale reserves held one minute’s silence before their 3-2 Open Trophy victory on Saturday (April 10) in memory of Peter and a further one minute for the Duke of Edinburgh.
The open-age teams are playing in round robin cup competitions with the Manchester League not taking place in 2020-21 while the juniors in the East Manchester Junior Football League and North Bury Junior Football League are playing league games along with cups.
One youngster who has done well is Elliott Kaye who scored a hat-trick against Denton Youth Reds.
The only exception is the walking football team which resumed training on Tuesday, April 13 having not played for the last year.
After a lengthy lay-off, there was frustration at the weekend when several games were postponed because of the unexpected return to winter, but the season has been extended to the end of June.