TRIBUTES have been paid to popular city sportsman Hamish Steven, who has died aged 74.
The accountant, National Farmers’ Union (NFU) official and sports enthusiast has been described as a “gregarious man who had the gift of making and keeping friends”.
His brother Alasdair said: “He was a gracious host who enjoyed sitting round a table discussing matters of importance, or of no importance whatsoever – amidst much laughter.
“Throughout his life he preserved a deep pride in his Scottish ancestry and remained a great lover of its countryside.”
Hamish Sydney Urquhart Steven was born on November 2, 1937 while his father was working in Calcutta.
The family lived in Edinburgh for 25 years and Hamish attended Edinburgh Academy and Trinity College, Glenalmond.
He went on to join the distinguished Edinburgh accountants Wighton and Crawford and throughout these years played cricket for Edinburgh Academicals at Raeburn Place. He opened the batting and was recognised as a hard-hitting batsman and an excellent fieldsman.
“Hamish was very much a team player – both on the field and off,” said Pat Burnett, one of his contemporaries in the side.
“He encouraged everyone and boosted morale. I remember the tours the Academical Warriors made to Morayshire when Hamish was in his element.”
John Crawford, another contemporary, added: “Hamish was a fine, aggressive bat. In form he was a prodigious hitter of the ball and scored many half centuries. He was a stalwart of Raeburn Place and always excellent company.”
Hamish also played for the East of Scotland and represented the MCC in Scotland.
On qualifying in 1965, he spent two years in Vancouver, returning to Edinburgh to work with Crudens the builders.
In 1972 he was appointed finance director of Tweeddale Press and he and his wife Jane lived in Chirnside, where they became involved in many aspects of village life.
In 1975, Mr Steven joined the Duns office of the NFU, providing advice to many farmers about financial and agricultural matters.
Sport continued to play an important part in his life – in 1982 he was the youngest captain at Luffness in East Lothian – and he played golf until illness made it impossible.
Indeed, Luffness became a focal part of his life and he was particularly proud to have been made an honorary member six years ago. His wife Jane said Luffness was “Hamish’s spiritual home”.
Mr Steven is survived by Jane, whom he married in 1966, their sons Angus and James, his daughters-in-law Donna and Catriona and granddaughters Eiona and Caitlyn.