MORE than 400 people have paid their respects to a Burton businessman and the father of Derbyshire cricketer Tom Poynton, who was killed after the car he was driving hit a tree.
A celebration of life for Keith Poynton, of Main Street, Rosliston, was held at Derbyshire County Cricket Club yesterday, following a private family funeral.
Mourners from the cricket world, as well as his colleagues from Briggs of Burton, and other friends and family reminisced.
They were joined by many cricketers keen to pay their respects.
Legendary West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Derbyshire’s overseas player, is understood to have been among those present.
Mr Poynton’s wife Sheena thanked his many friends, family and colleagues in an order of service, saying: “Thank you for joining us today to celebrate the life of my beloved husband Keith Poynton, the father of my two wonderful sons, Adam and Tom.
“We would like you to talk about him, laugh about him and share your stories about him. He would have loved that. He was the life and soul of any party. He could air guitar with the best.
“We want to talk about him and remember all of his many achievements. He was a true gentleman, a wonderful father and husband who was devoted to his family. We will miss him every single day of our lives.
“Personally I have loved him from the very first day we met and will continue to for the rest of my life. He will live on in our family and his legacy will shape everything we do.
“He may be gone from our sight but he will live on in our hearts forever.”
Mr Poynton, 57, who was a vice president of Lullington Cricket Club, was killed after the red Ferrari 458 Spider he had been driving hit a tree in Caldwell Road, near Drakelow, at around 8pm on Friday, April 4.
As a result of the tragedy the decision was taken to postpone Derbyshire’s LV County Championship Division Two game against Leicestershire, which was due to start the next day.
Tom Poynton, 24, had been due to keep wicket in the fixture, but was a passenger in the Ferrari and suffered fractures to his leg.
The crash has since sparked calls for improved safety measures in Caldwell Road, which is notorious for its bends and has seen bad accidents in the past.
Andy Fleming, who witnessed the aftermath of the accident, claimed that chevron signs had been knocked over at the crash site just months before and had not been replaced.
He said: “If you don’t know that road very well then it is very dangerous.
“Road markings and signs need to be put in place.”
A CELEBRATION of the life of Keith Poynton was held at Derbyshire County Cricket Club following a private family funeral.
The service included two poems read out by Richard Gerver, author and broadcaster, entitled ‘Not, how did he die, but how did he live’ and ‘Death is nothing at all’ excerpts of which include:
“Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, That, we still are.
“Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
“Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect. Without the trace of a shadow on it.”
Friends, family and colleagues at the service were also able to join in with two songs ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I Vow to Thee’.
‘Thoughtful, generous and full of fun’ were the words used by Sheena Poynton at the Celebration of Life of her husband.
A eulogy written by Mrs Poynton and read by Simon Storey, chief executive of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, said: “Keith Poynton first met Sheena Warren in 1966. Sheena was six-years-old and Keith was 10. No doubt whatsoever, it was love at first sight the two childhood sweethearts were to share 48 years together!
They both went to Rosliston Primary School. Keith moved on to his secondary school days at Pingle. It was around this point that Keith, already well known in the village as Sid’s Kid, developed his nickname ‘Skid’ - a name that many friends and villagers still use for him to this day.
On August 7, 1972, just before his 16th birthday, Keith began an apprenticeship at Briggs and attended day release every week at Burton College for the next five years. Here he gained his City and Guilds qualifications as a plater, welder and never looked back.
Keith was offered a promotion to foreman under the tutelage of a Briggs old stalwart, Jack Hodson, for whom he had the greatest respect. He was a perfectionist, a trait both of his sons have inherited. He always did any job expected of him to the very best of his ability and with great pride. He was very sensible and thought everything through very carefully until it was just right.
Keith and Sheena were married in September 1982 and they left Rosliston for a while and moved to Newhall. Adam came along two years later in 1984.
Keith’s expertise grew and site and project manager positions now followed. This meant even longer periods from home when Keith had a spell working on projects abroad in China and Nigeria.
He came home long enough to produce Tom, but only just made it back from Nigeria in time for his birth in 1989, after falling from some scaffolding and knocking himself out.
In 1995, one of Keith’s friends suggested they try the local cricket club, Lullington Park. It soon became the family social club, with every weekend spent ‘up the park.’
Finally, after 36 years hard work at Briggs there was a management buy out of the company in 2008, with his long time friends and colleagues Ian MacFarlane, Gareth Cure and Dave Hibbert, of which Keith was immensely proud.
Cricket became his passion and he was so proud of Tom when he was chosen to play for England and he signed his first contract for Derbyshire, aged 17. During the summer months, all Poynton leisure time was spent at Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
He never had a bad word for anyone. Was thoughtful, generous, clever and full of fun. When you were with him he made you feel special and he was genuinely interested in every single person he met. He could speak to absolutely anyone from any walk of life and I think that’s what made people gravitate towards him. He was truly someone special.
Keith Poynton was one in a million and Sheena will miss him every single day of her life. He was her soulmate and very best friend. They don’t come along very often and she is honoured to have loved him and known him.
We have decided to purchase a second Game Ready machine from any donations made on Keith’s behalf. It speeds up the recovery of injured players. Tom has been using it for the past two weeks and it seems a fitting tribute to Keith that other injured players can also be helped as Tom has been since their tragic accident together.”