George Alexander calls time on his spell as 'Mr Carrickvale'

George Alexander, who is widely known in Lothians golf as ‘Mr Carrickvale’, has called time on his lengthy stint as the capital club’s match secretary.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 8:10 am

Alexander was just 20 when he took over the job and has remained in the post for more than 40 years, during which time he has “held the club together” according to immediate past captain John Pow.

“I’ve done it for 42 years, so I think that’s long enough,” said Alexander. “There was good and bad, but, over the years, I’ve enjoyed doing it. I wouldn’t have done it as long as I have if that hadn’t been the case.

“Back when I started, we must have had 500-600 members and the waiting list was six or seven years long and you couldn’t get in unless you were a junior. Now I’m afraid we are probably down to under 200 and anyone can join, so it’s changed days. But we are holding our own.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

George Alexander, back row centre, celebrates with the Carrickvale players after the club's Dispatch Trophy triumph in 2016. Picture: JPI Media

Alexander and his wife, Babs, were Carrickvale’s main cheerleaders as the club recorded a hat-trick of wins in the Dispatch Trophy from 2007-09 before landing that prize again at the Braids in 2013 and 2016.

“Winning the Dispatch for the first time was definitely one of the highlights in my spell, as was doing it three years on the trot,” added Alexander.

“But I think the biggest highlight was 2010, when we won the Lothians Team Tournament and went on to add the Scottish Club Championship and went across to Portugal.

“Craig Elliott, Allyn Dick and David Ewen played in that team and they represented Scotland in the European Club Championship. For a small club like us, that was absolutely terrific.

Carrickvale captain Stuart Gordon, left, with George and Babs Alexander at a presentation at the Capital club to mark his retiral. Picture: Carrickvale Golf Club

“And to finish fifth, I think it was, and to beat the other Home Nations, that for me was probably the biggest thing that has happened to the club, albeit the Dispatch was also very special.”

Alexander, who only recently got back playing himself after a health scare, is proud to have his name on the honours’ board in the clubhouse.

“I’ve won the championship four times,” he said. “I also won the Summer Singles last year and I’ve enjoyed my achievements, especially as the role of match secretary was very time consuming when you had to do things manually without the help of computers.”

It was as he was lying in a hospital bed that Alexander, a retired production planning manager for a print firm, decided it was time to bring his administration stint at Carrickvale to an end.

Wearing his 'lucky' jumper, Carrickvale's George Alexander runs down the fairway to congratulate his side after their 2008 win at the Braids. Picture: Kenny Smith/JPI Media

“I wasn’t well for a while but I’m okay now,” he said. “I had an infection in my gallbladder, an infection in my bowel, an abcess in my lung and I also had sepsis. Then, to top it off, I caught Covid and all of that was at the one time.

“But, if I hadn’t gone to the hospital when I did, it might have been a different story, I’m afraid because of the sepsis. I recently had my first game of golf for god knows how long, but it certainly gave me a shake.

“I was thinking about packing it in a couple of years ago, but there was nobody to take it over, so I carried on. But, with being in hospital, I decided that enough is enough.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.