Far North Coast cricket stalwart retires as president on 81 not out

WELL DONE: John Buttrum with new FNC cricket council president Phil Melville and secretary Geoff Jacobs.

WELL DONE: John Buttrum with new FNC cricket council president Phil Melville and secretary Geoff Jacobs.

LISMORE cricket stalwart John Buttrum has stepped down as president of the Far North Coast Cricket Council after 14 years in the job.

The 81-year-old has made significant contributions to cricket across the Far North Coast as a player, coach and administrator.

"My cricket life hasn't been that spectacular but it has been a long and enjoyable experience," Buttrum said.

"The time is right and the new president (Phil Melville) is a cricket man coming in with the best intentions, I just hope I've been able to give something back to the game."

Buttrum grew up at Lismore and moved away for teachers college at Armidale and played in the Southern Highlands before returning for a teaching job in the 1970s.

He played cricket with Mullumbimby until he was 60 and coached teams in Lismore during that time.

He was also a delegate to the FNC Cricket Council when he was still at Mullumbimby and playing in the Ballina District association.

Buttrum has played with and against many other cricket stalwarts in the region including Reg Baxter, Len Henley, Kevin Kirkland, Jack Mclean and John McMahon.

He was also one of five recognised by Cricket Australia for 50 years of service to the game in 2010.

The others were brothers Greg and Warren Smith, along with Dick Bryant and Stan Thompson.

Buttrum still plans to be involved in some capacity with the cricket council and expects more changes in the coming years.

"There were times where we could get India and the West Indies to play at Oakes Oval here in Lismore," he said.

"They were big money earners for local cricket but you just don't see that sort of thing anymore.

"Sport is becoming a lot more professional, even in the country areas.

"Other local sports have paid administration officers now and we'll probably go down that path eventually."