Tributes paid to former Leicestershire County Cricket chairman John Josephs, of Kibworth
A former chairman of Leicestershire County Cricket Club has died, aged 88.
John Josephs, of Kibworth, was chairman of the club during the 1990s when it enjoyed one of its most successful spells including winning the county championship in 1996 and 1998.
Mr Josephs, who used to run his own leather business in Leicester, enjoyed an association with the club lasting more than 60 years.
A trophy awarded annually by the club for best individual performance is named after him.
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Although confined to a wheelchair in later years, he still presented the award at the club's annual presentation night last month.
Son David said: "He was held in huge respect by players and officials alike for his calming influence wherever he went."
Leicestershire County Cricket Club chairman Paul Heywood said he "contributed greatly" to the club.
"I knew John very well and worked closely with him.
"He was very level-headed and was a calming influence."
After moving with his family from London as a young man, Mr Josephs worked for his father's leather factors business in Leicester.
He then went on to establish his own company, J M Josephs Leather Factors, which he ran until he was in his 60s.
A keen amateur sportsman, he played for the county cricket club's second team and on several occasions for the first team between the late 40s and early 50s.
He also played for Leicester Ivanhoe Cricket Club, served as its secretary in the 1950s and 60s, and was a county squash champion in the 1950s.
Mr Josephs also helped with the acquisition and running of the private Stoneygate School, where his brother Joe was headmaster.
He served as a magistrate and was chairman of the bench at Lutterworth for more than 20 years.
He was also a member of Leicester Rotary Club for more than 30 years.
He was actively involved in helping to run St Wilfrid's Parish Church, in Kibworth Beauchamp, where he lived, serving on several church committees and the parochial church council.
Mr Josephs' wife Wendy, to whom he was married for 50 years, died last year, aged 79.
He leaves three children, David, Suzy and Belle and four grandchildren.
The funeral for Mr Josephs, who died on Christmas Day, will be held at St Wilfrid's on Tuesday, January 8, at noon.
His family say all are welcome to attend.