HE was arguably Fair Oak’s best known sportsman for half a century or more.

Harry May lived his entire life in Victena Road, where he was born 80 years ago and died recently after a brave battle against cancer.

He was passionate about football and cricket, playing lead roles on and off the field for many years in both sports.

He was an uncompromising centre-half in the winter months and a fiery opening bowler in the summer.

And all for Fair Oak, where he was secretary and organiser, a meticulous recorder and book-keeper, with Hampshire cricket memorabilia dating back to the 1920s among his vast collection.

He ran Fair Oak’s successful village Southampton Football League club, carrying out a similar role with the cricket team, who were among the original founder members of the Hampshire League back in 1973.

Alongside that, Harry played darts and dominoes for the Acorn and Bishopstoke Social Clubs and was chairman of the East River Dominoes League.

His competitive nature was probably reflected in his day-time job at Pirelli-General in Eastleigh, where he worked for over 25 years as a fitter/turner and was a typically forceful shop steward and convener.

Away from his cricket, football, darts and dominoes, Harry loved Country & Western music and was an audience regular at the Ponderosa Club at Boarhunt, near Wickham.

He battled cancer in the latter years of his life, but that didn’t stop him watching cricket with his life-long pal and past Fair Oak team-mate Dave Burgess at Hursley Park, Sparsholt and St Cross and often further afield.

A bachelor with trademark shoulder length hair, he lived in the same house all his life – bar annual cricket tours to the west country.

Last month, a neighbour noticed the milk hadn’t been collected from his doorstep and he was found dead at the foot of his staircase.

There will be a coroner’s inquest into his death in October but, at Harry’s request, no funeral will take place.