Tributes to Shropshire businessman and leading light in county sports
Retired businessman and leading county sportsman Eric Mackereth has died at the age of 81 following a lengthy illness.
The former President of Shrewsbury Rugby Club and player for Shrewsbury, Wroxeter, Gentleman of Shropshire and The Shropshire Tatty Bogles Touring cricket clubs died in hospital on June 14.
Originally from Cumbria he relocated in the 1950s and became a journalist at the Shrewsbury Chronicle before moving on to the Birmingham Sunday Mercury, the Daily Express in Manchester and the Daily Mail.
Also a talented singer and guitarist his achievements included a television appearance on the legendary talent show Opportunity Knocks.
Returning to Shropshire in 1962, he formed a news agency partnership with John Rea, a former Express & Star photographer. He then set up the public relations and advertising company Impact Information before moving into technology and founding the BMC group of companies.
In addition to his working life Mr Mackereth, of Bank Farm Road, Radbrook, Shrewsbury, played for, led and served many sports teams. Notably in the 1970s he was instrumental in the foundation of the expanded Shropshire Cricket League and was its first chairman and later president.
He later joined Shrewsbury Golf Club and in the winter time he took up skiing, excelling at the Apres Ski Arena, in Switzerland.
His friend Peter Williams said: "We had some good times together. Eric was very outgoing. He was a good musician as well and performed on Opportunity Knocks in 1956 or 1957. All the people that he became involved with on sports teams also played instruments.
"He was a skilled guitarist and on the 30 tours cricket tours that we took to Devon, which he organised, we were known for our singing as well as playing cricket. We went on overseas tours twice to Jamaica to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios and once to Barbados and Kenya.
"He served on many, many committees and of course was very well known.
"Attendance at the funeral was restricted inside, as these are strange times, but that didn't stop many people from across Shropshire from turning up to stand at the gate to the crematorium on Monday to pay their respects.
"Eric was a well respected man. We have a lot to thank him for and he'll be sorely missed by his family and friends."
Mr Mackereth is survived by his wife Margaret, 79, a former captain of Shrewsbury Golf Club, daughter Beverley, son Ross and five grandchildren.
His funeral was held at Shrewsbury Crematorium on Monday.
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