Kingskerswell CC in 2003. Bill Rossiter is wearing the white coat in the back row

ONE of the best-known faces on the cricket and football circuit in South Devon has died shortly before his 82nd birthday.

Bill Rossiter (rear) and son Mike from a Kingskerswell team photo in 1991Bill Rossiter was synonymous with the two clubs in Kingskerswell for the best part of 50 years.

He was an active committee man for both clubs for the majority of those years and represented Kingskerswell FC on the committee for the ground the two clubs share at the Playing Fields.

Bill was also the founder and manager for the now-defunct Kerswell Dragons, who played football in the Torbay Pioneer league in the 1970s, and a regular on the Devon Cricket League umpires’ panel.

Tim Chapman, a former 1st XI captain and chairman at Kerswell, paid tribute to Bill as a tireless worker for sport in the village.

“Bill along with Bert Mitchell worked hard on the Playing Fields Association to develop and maintain a facility to be proud of,” said Chapman.

Paul Mitchell, Bert’s son and a former Kerswell player, said Rossiter was selfless in his dedication to the sports he loved.

“'Bill was a wonderful man who put everyone before himself,” said Mitchell, now chairman of Abbotskerswell CC.

“He would give up his time to umpire every Kingskerswell cricket match when he wasn't doing a panel game. 

“Bill would be the person who would make sure the ground and facilities were ready for every game, be it cricket or football, and he was the person that made sure it was all tidy before he left.

“He would make sure everything was ready so that all the other volunteers lives were a little bit easier. 

“I was lucky to grow up with Bill's children as my mates. 

“During school holidays if we wanted a game of football or cricket, Bill would make sure that he was about to get some goal nets up or cricket stumps out so we could organise proper games.

“Was a privilege to have known and been involved at the clubs with Bill.”

Bill would have celebrated the 60th anniversary of his marriage to Jill on March 23 this year.

The couple had four children Patrick, Michael, Susan and Jason, eight grandchildren and one great grand daughter.

All three sons played cricket for Kingskerswell and Mike played for Devon at schoolboy level in 1976.

Bill worked as a builder for Hugh Mills and Gaye, J D Hayward and was one of the original Midas Construction workers until he retired.