Mr Colin Dunkerley (OS 1983-1993, Former Member of Staff)
Stockport Grammar School was saddened to hear of the death of Mr Colin Dunkerley on 13th October 2015.
Mr Dunkerley was appointed to Stockport Grammar School in January 1983, as a Craft, Design and Technology teacher and Cricket Coach. He retired from the School in 1993.
Extracts from The Stopfordian 1993:
“Mr Dunkerley’s enthusiasm for woodwork, his skill and creativity were readily apparent and were valuable attributes which he strove to develop in all the pupils he taught. His ability to fashion splendid toys out of wood was amazing. No doubt some lucky children benefitted from his expertise in this respect.
Alongside teaching woodwork, Mr Dunkerley organised cricket fixtures, coaching and umpiring at SGS, and was also manager of the Lancashire Under-19 cricket squad. He ranked as a Staff Coach which was regarded as one of the highest coaching qualifications in the game. In this capacity he organised and managed numerous cricket courses for various local authorities. He regularly took squads to the Isle of Man for tournaments where a number of teams, one from S.G.S. included, were pitted against the Lancashire Under-19 team.
Mr Dunkerley’s former years also exercised direct influence on England cricketers Michael Atherton and John Crawley.
It was Mr Dunkerley’s work with youngsters that saw his reputation spread far and wide, not only in the North of England but also in Pakistan. He was once featured in an article on his involvement with the coaching of youngsters from the sub-continent in the Lahor Times. It is this character which typifies his whole personality and which earned him immense respect in the cricketing world.”
A. C. Heath and J. P. Ashcroft
Colin Dunkerley a tribute by Peter Crossing
I first met Colin Dunkerley in 1987, the year of the Quincentenary, the year of the Baulkwill century. On a teaching exchange from Scotch College, Adelaide to Stockport Grammar, I taught chemistry and coached cricket. My wife Deborah, our children and I met some wonderful people – staff and students at Stockport Grammar, neighbours in our home-town of Poynton and the community of Bramhall Cricket Club. Many of these became firm friends.
None more so than Colin Dunkerley.
Colin was a craft teacher of distinction. In the schoolyard at break times, “little people” always seemed to be rushing up to him to ask a question about a woodwork project or to say “Hello”. However, it was in his role as cricket coach that I really came to know Colin and appreciate his worth as a teacher. Colin’s passion for the game of cricket was always obvious and he was, in my opinion, a great coach of young cricketers. He had a great respect for the conventions and spirit of the game and he engendered the same in the young cricketers within his care. He possessed a comprehensive technical knowledge of all aspects and an ability to impart this knowledge in a manner that was listened to. He was a good organiser of the troops, calm in any crisis and he possessed a gentle “oop north” sense of humour. Both the First and Second XI teams had successful seasons in 1987, winning their fair share of matches and, it seemed to me, thoroughly enjoying their cricket. I am sure that this would have also been the case in many other seasons during Colin’s career as cricket coach at Stockport Grammar.
Colin was also involved in the organisation of a number of extremely collegial cricket fixtures involving SGS staff members. During the year, he did me the great honour of asking me to coach the First XI at the cricket festival at King William’s College on the Isle of Man. The definitive story of that week is, as far as I can ascertain, yet to be written.
Colin was also a highly respected coach within the Lancashire cricket system, particularly at U19 level. While a number of these cricketers, such as Michael Atherton and John Crawley, have achieved international status there are countless others who have gone on to become club cricketers of worth, all of them stamped with the Colin Dunkerley no-nonsense approach.
A number of years ago, an Australian friend of mine attended a senior coaching clinic at Blackburn in which Colin was involved. In a room full of cricket luminaries such as Gus Logie, Roger Harper and others, Colin was undaunted, dispensing his wisdom in his usual unflappable manner.
Colin adored his family and he always spoke fondly of his wife Dorothy (who pre-deceased him by many years) and their children. On a visit to their home, we saw the wonderful wooden rocking horse he had made for a grandchild and marvelled at his skill. On a personal level, Colin became a firm friend. We shared cricket anecdotes and tactics during afternoon tea at cricket matches or over a pint after stumps. We sang songs in a pub somewhere near Halifax on New Years Eve. Colin got the hiccups, probably because he was drinking Yorkshire beer. He took Deborah and I on an in-depth tour of Old Trafford where we heard more cricket stories. We were able to return the favour at Adelaide Oval some years later and also to show Colin and his dear friend and partner Pamela some of the sights of the Flinders Ranges.
Colin Dunkerley was a humble and self-effacing man. He carried out his life’s tasks with dignity and he valued his interactions with all those around him. He was a great man.
When the moment comes and the gathering stands and the clock turns back to reflect
On the years of grace as those footsteps trace for the last time out of the act
Well this way of life’s recollection, the hallowed strip in the haze
The fabled men and the noonday sun are much more than just yarns of their days.
(When an Old Cricketer leaves The Crease – Roy Harper)
Peter Crossing, SGS Staff member, 1987