Memorial service held at Hadlee's former school October 14, 2006

Hundreds pay tribute to Walter Hadlee

Cricinfo staff

Walter Hadlee: at the forefront of New Zealand cricket as player, captain, selector and manager © Getty Images

Former cricketers joined hundreds of people paying tribute to the late Walter Hadlee, the former New Zealand captain and administrator, who died last month. At a memorial service at Hadlee's former school in Christchurch today, players and fans alike arrived for a public celebration of his life.

Don Neely, a noted historian, administrator and close friend who was recently appointed president of New Zealand Cricket, said Hadlee had the ability to transcend class and status and treat every man, woman and child with dignity and respect, the website reported. "His life comprehended the entire history of New Zealand Test cricket," Neely said, while another friend of almost 70 years, Ian Gallaway, spoke of Hadlee's character, passion and leadership.

Hadlee's son, Barry, referred to his father as being the visible part of a ship, his mother the other part. "The bit you see cutting through the seas, going places, going places, getting things done, very visible, whereas the section below the waterline is equally important," he said. "That's the engine room."

Others who paid tributes spoke not just of his sporting prowess but also of his being a devoutly religious man, and a keen gardener.