Tributes paid to

A WIFE today spoke of the "wonderful" final moments she spent with her husband after discovering he had just hours to live.Roger Bolton, a key figure at Stowmarket Cricket Club, was initially taken to hospital with a stomach complaint but tests revealed he had cancer.

A WIFE today spoke of the "wonderful" final moments she spent with her husband after discovering he had just hours to live.

Roger Bolton, a key figure at Stowmarket Cricket Club, was initially taken to hospital with a stomach complaint but tests revealed he had cancer.

His wife Jenny, 58, and two daughters, Andrea, 34, and Alison, 31, spent the final 18 hours of his life at his bedside after being told the bombshell news. He died on November 3 at West Suffolk Hospital, three days after being admitted.

Mrs Bolton, still trying to come to terms with her loss, said: "We couldn't believe it when we were told. We were shocked that we had so little time, but it was wonderful.

"We cried so much but we had the chance to say the things we wanted to say to each other.

"He was still full of banter and jokes right to the end. Even when the doctor came through to say there's nothing they could do, he said 'oh well, you did your best mate'."

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The tragedy has also shocked Stowmarket's cricketing community, where the 58-year-old was today described as virtually "irreplaceable".

Since moving to Suffolk in 1967, Mr Bolton had fulfilled nearly every role possible at the town's cricket club. He even masterminded its move to new premises in the late 1980s.

Chairman Roger Dickie said: "People say no one is irreplaceable but when you think of Roger it doesn't seem true.

"His contribution to Stowmarket Cricket Club was absolutely immense. I think he fulfilled every position of the club at one time or another, from chairman to fixtures secretary.

"He was one of those chaps on which a sports club is built."

Up until his admission to hospital, Mr Bolton had continued his active lifestyle, which included working full-time on business systems from his home in Church View, Haughley.

There had been no hint of what was to come in the weeks before, although he had suffered from indigestion problems throughout his 36-year marriage.

Less than two months ago, Mr Bolton bowled two overs in an exhibition game of cricket. But it was coaching youngsters that provided his greatest pleasure in his later years.

Mrs Bolton said: "Cricket was his life, being a Yorkshireman. With Stowmarket he got the chance to coach youngsters and help future generations. He loved that."

N Roger Bolton's funeral service takes place at the West Suffolk Crematorium at 3pm on Thursday, November 13. Donations may be sent to Stowmarket Junior Cricket Club.

What are your memories of Roger Bolton? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

FASTfacts: Roger Bolton

Roger was born on May 31, 1945 in Maltby, Yorkshire.

He met his wife, Jenny, when his family moved to Bristol.

They married on March 4, 1967 in Bristol after meeting at a dance around a year earlier.

One day after tying the knot, they moved to Suffolk.

Within two weeks of moving, he joined Stowmarket Cricket Club.

When the club sought to move from Earl Stonham back to Stowmarket, Mr Bolton used his business expertise to organise the move by fundraising and linking with Stowmarket rugby club.

Mr Bolton, a bowler, continued to play cricket until giving up around six years ago to begin coaching youngsters in the sport.

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