A brewery boss has bowed out after two decades guiding one of the UK’s biggest ale producers.
Stephen Crawley is stepping down from his role as managing director at the Shandon-based Caledonian Brewery, which he joined in 1993 before moving into the top job in 2001.
The former professional cricketer said: “It has certainly been an interesting ride yet it feels the right time to let someone else take the reins for the next chapter.
“It is particularly pleasing to leave with the brewery busier than ever. I have always stressed to employees that Caledonian is a winner and we are privileged to be part of a remarkable story.
“It just remains to wish the new leader and all those at Caledonian an exciting future.”
Husband to Fiona – jokingly branded his “very successful, but some might say long-suffering wife” – and father to Fergus and Jamie, 17 and 13 respectively, Mr Crawley hails originally from Cheshire and played cricket all over England before enjoying a stint in Australia.
But he was still eligible to represent Scotland as a batsman in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
He made several international appearances for his adopted country before retiring from the sport ten years ago.
He recalled: “I played outfield in my youth but working at the brewery took too much toll on me to keep playing that position.”
However, Mr Crawley didn’t give up on the sport entirely and has managed children’s cricket teams at the Grange in Stockbridge.
He also acts as a “shuttle bus driver” for son Jamie’s table tennis team, which plays in the Lothian Premier League.
As a keen golfer, the outgoing brewery boss is often seen swinging his way around the Archerfield Links in East Lothian and Hoylake in Merseyside.
Describing his mantra in life as “family, sport, food and drink”, Mr Crawley insists he won’t step back altogether from the industry he has faithfully served.
He said: “I absolutely want to stay close to the industry, I love food and drink – they are my passions.
“This is an exciting time for me and it’s something I absolutely want to do.”
But he added that he had no plans for the future set in stone, saying: “It is a blank slate for me really, I don’t have any firm plans for what’s next but I’m probably more relaxed about it than the family.”
Tributes were paid to Mr Crawley’s loyal service by Keith Hogg, chairman of the Caledonian Brewery, based in Slateford Road.
Mr Hogg said: “Stephen has successfully led the Caledonian through a significant period of change, and we will all be very sad to see him go.
“He leaves having put the business in a very strong position.”