Obituary: Mike Hutton, 73

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MIKE Hutton, a well-known Edinburgh rugby player and the creator of a specialist cheese business, has died, aged, 73.

Born on March 30, 1940, Mr Hutton was educated at George Heriot’s and was a keen sports player throughout his life.

When he left Heriot’s school he played rugby for Edinburgh Northern and Edinburgh Borderers, then, in the early 1960s, joined Heriot’s FP, quickly becoming a regular the first 15, playing either at prop or second row.

During ten seasons at the club he garnered considerable praise for his strength and skill on the ball, which made up for the fact that he was considered a little short for a second row forward.

Once described as “the Iron Man of ruck and maul”, one of the highlights of his career was a match against Cardiff played on a Friday night ahead of a Wales/Scotland international which Heriot’s won 9-8.

After retiring from Heriot’s he spent his last season with North Berwick as player/coach.

As well as rugby, Mr Hutton was a keen golfer, and played for the junior team at Kingsknowe, where he first learned the game.

Later, when he moved to North Berwick, he joined Tantallon Golf Club and regular practice saw him reduce his handicap to single figures.

A former captain of Heriot’s FP golf club, he served on the council at Tantallon and was elected as captain in 1992, an honour he was very proud of.

And his skill helped him raise money for charity as well. A member of the Round Table, he decided to raise money by hitting a golf ball along the beach from Gullane to North Berwick – a distance of seven miles.

Despite starting in a thunderstorm he completed the challenge in five hours, taking 605 shots and declaring afterwards that bunkers held no fear for him anymore.

Mr Hutton was also a member of Gullane Golf Club for about 30 years, as well as serving on the council for two years and taking the role of dinner match recorder for two years.

Away from sport, Mr Hutton was an astute businessman, and was one of the founding partners in Choose a Cheese, a specialist cheese shop opened in Edinburgh in 1974.

He helped develop the shop into a successful retail, wholesale and manufacturing business. He was known as a character, a personality and a people person with a great sense of humour, a quick mind and a sharp wit.

Mr Hutton enjoyed being in the company of his friends whether at Goldenacre, Tantallon, Gullane or with his Friday lunch group at the Golf Tavern.

He is survived by his wife Anne, his daughters Alison, Eileen and Sally, and his four grandchildren, all of whom he loved dearly and who played a very important part in his life.