Keen cricketer Michael S Killey dies, aged 81

Michael Killey. Picture: supplied
Michael Killey. Picture: supplied
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A CRICKETER who brought smiles to the faces of all who knew him has died.

Michael S Killey was born on July 2, 1934 in Bristol and died in Edinburgh earlier this month.

A regular opening bat for Carlton Cricket Club 1st XI for a number of seasons, having made his debut while still a schoolboy, Michael Killey then joined Watsonians in 1965, with whom he figured prominently as player, official and supporter over many years.

Elected as committee member of the Scottish Cricket Union between 1978 and 1980, he was very proud to serve as a selector of the national team during that period. He was also a great supporter of Watsonian rugby as well as the national team.

A good enough cricketer to have made his debut in George Watsons’ College 1st XI aged 14 in 1949, he went on to play a leading role thereafter, winning his Colours and notching three half-centuries.

While at school he joined Carlton as a junior member, his family home being in nearby St Albans Road. After leaving school he joined the Royal Armoured Corps at Catterick for National Service but unfortunately contracted rheumatic fever, leading to his discharge on medical grounds.

Once recovered he resumed his cricket career with Carlton, but like many Edinburgh cricketers then found it frustrating not to be able to play on Sundays as schools which owned most of the grounds would not sanction it. This led to players forming their own teams such as MS Killey’s XI and HK More’s XI.

The popularity of these games resulted in 1961 in the creation of a Sunday club called The Gnomes, which went on to play fixtures throughout Scotland and tour Yorkshire.

On joining Watsonians in 1965, he was soon in the 1st XI, recording several fine innings including 48 against Carlton. The following season was his best with the bat, totalling an excellent 697 runs and he remained a 1st XI regular till about 1970, with occasional appearances thereafter, his last being in 1984. He served the club with distinction also as secretary between 1969 and 1973, umpired matches and made a huge contribution both on and off the pitch at Myreside.

His father, George, an insurance company general manager, was a Scottish international golfer. His mother, Babette, was a colourful lady who enjoyed a flutter on the horses.

Michael’s working life was mostly in insurance, initially in the North British Mercantile Company, thereafter in Eagle Star, before setting up his own company, Sinclair Financial Services.

Other interests included train travel, Second World War history and music, including playing the piano, with exuberant renditions of Chicago, usually culminating in his leaping skywards and collisions with ceilings.

He was a personal friend of Ronnie Browne of The Corries. In the 1960s he accompanied them as unofficial tour manager to Germany.