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‘Scary’ Mary Blackburn, pillar of the Bowdon community and “legend” cricket-scorer, dies aged 76

By David Prior at

Tributes have poured in for Mary Blackburn, a pillar of the Bowdon community and local cricket-scorer for over half a century, who has died at the age of 76.

Mary, affectionately known as ‘Scary’ Mary, was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Honours List in 2013 in recognition of her services to the community.

A parishioner of St Mary’s Church in Bowdon and a member of the local art group, Mary set up and ran the Hobblers and Wobblers social group.

Towards the end of the Second World War, she was also involved in raising awareness of Operation Manna, the humanitarian food drops led by Avro Lancaster Bombers.

Mary Blackburn received a British Empire Medal in 2014

Mary Blackburn received a British Empire Medal in 2014

In 2014 she was nominated as one of the 40 Faces of Trafford by Trafford Council in recognition of her “tireless work in the community” and how she worked hard to “improve the lives of young and old”.

Mary was particularly well known in the cricket community, having scored for Timperley and Bowdon cricket clubs.

Timperley cricketer Ed Galley said on Twitter that “cricket on Saturdays will never be the same without her”, while Matt Owen called her “a legend of the cricketing world”.

Some of the tributes on Twitter:

Mary’s daughter, PR consultant Barbara Hallwood, said: “From my days as a teenager Mum had visited Barbados as a cricket scorer on Pro/Am tours with England players.

“In her later years she had scored at Timperley, regularly buying them trophies to reward good achievement.

“Mum was a real giver and had an incredibly strong Christian faith, always keen to pray for anybody that needed anything. Mum was a wonderful lady and incredible character.”

Mary died peacefully at Wythenshawe Hospital on Thursday evening. Her daughter said the staff had been “just brilliant, in particular her consultant Mr Baraza”.

“We have been inundated with condolences, locally, nationally and internationally.”

Mary’s funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church on Stamford Road in Bowdon on Tuesday 2nd February at 11am. Donations, if desired, should be sent to St Ann’s Hospice in Heald Green.

'Scary' Mary Blackburn at Dunham Massey

‘Scary’ Mary Blackburn at Dunham Massey