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OBITUARY.

full life Anthony Sykes

FORMER company director, ex-army officer and sportsman John Anthony Sykes died peacefully on October 9 at his Almondbury home surrounded by his family.

He was 91.

Grandfather-of-five Mr Sykes was born on 15 April 1915, the son, grandson and great grandson of aldermen of Huddersfield County Borough Council.

He was educated at Leys School, Cambridge and Huddersfield Technical College where he studied textiles.

Mr Sykes, known to his friends as Tony, started work at fabric manufacturers Godfrey Sykes and Sons.

He became assistant manager in 1939 and managing director in 1958.

For 30 years, Mr Sykes directed Sykes and Tunnicliffe of Almondbury.

When the firm was taken over by John Foster and Son, Mr Sykes took on the jobs of chairman and managing director of two Foster fabric companies.

For 25 years, he represented the wool textile industry on various committees, retiring from business in 1979.

Mr Sykes started his military career when he joined the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in 1936.

He was commissioned in 1937 and mobilised with Holmfirth Company in August 1939.

Mr Sykes remained there until 1941 when he became instructor to the searchlight wing of the School of Anti-Aircraft Artillery at Shrivenham.

He was demobilised in 1946 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding and Chief Instructor and awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1946.

An avid sportsman, Mr Sykes played for and sometimes captained Huddersfield Hockey Club first team for 14 seasons as well as Yorkshire first and second teams.

He was a county coach for more than 20 years and chief coach of Yorkshire and the Northern Counties for six years.

Mr Sykes was also the northern representative on the England coaching committee.

A keen cricketer and squash player, Mr Sykes played for Craven Gentlemen's Cricket Club and Oakfield Squash Club and was president of Almondbury Cricket Club.

He was a member of Woodsome Hall Golf Club and an honorary life member of three sailing clubs.

He married Betty Dawson in 1939 and had two daughters, Jane and Jill. His wife passed away after 57 happy years. His daughter Jill lost her battle against cancer in 2004.

Son-in-law Patrick Walsh, 64, from Highburton said: "He was a great old guy; full of stories. I saw him most days and we had some marvellous conversations about the old days. His memory was incredible."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Nov 7, 2006
Words:392
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