Cricket umpire

Cricket umpire

Born: January 8, 1921; Died: July 29, 2014

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Tom Kerr, who has died aged 93, was a passionate sportsman who became one of the leading umpires in Scottish cricket.

Aside from sport, he led a full and busy life, through his business as a sales director in the textile industry, while he dedicated his spare time to causes such as The Children's Panel, and several Paisley Abbey Restoration phases.

As a young man he played football for Partick Thistle, and later developed a passion for golf and cricket.

Cricket, however, was his main forte, and Scottish umpiring has lost one of its most experienced officials of the latter half of the 20th century.

"Tom's on-field career spanned almost four decades, the Western District Cricket Union being his umpiring homeland where he must have stood in some 500-600 games plus McCulloch Cup, Rowan Charity Cup, inter-district matches, and others too numerous to mention.

With his experience and competence it was inevitable that the Scottish Cricket Union would call upon his services to stand in what were termed internationals, and between 1968 and 1983 he stood in 15 such matches involving New Zealand, India, MCC, Australia, Worcestershire, Yorkshire and Ireland when the Ireland fixtures were deemed to be first-class matches.

In addition he accompanied Scotland to Worcester in 1981 to stand in two B and H warm-up matches at New Road.

Off the field Tom was the last of the umpires who attended informal gatherings in Rowan's Tea Room in Glasgow's Buchanan Street which in due course resulted in the formation of an umpires association in the west.

Pre the late 1970s totally independent umpires associations existed in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, but around that time Tom was one of a small ad-hoc committee of experienced umpires and a scorer formed to investigate the practicalities of forming a Scotland-wide association and who had the foresight to see that such a body could only be beneficial for all Scottish umpires and scorers.

Stumps (the acronym refers to Scotland, umpires and scorers but its full meaning is lost to time) was duly formed around 1979 with Tom one of its Committee Members. It was short lived, being disbanded the following year having been invited to become the Scottish Region of the Association of Cricket Umpires, whose examinations Tom was one of the early and successful Scottish candidates.

He became an examiner marking candidate's papers from all over the United Kingdom and was the 1985-86 Scottish Regional Councillor.

Although he retired from active umpiring in 1983 he maintained his keen interest in umpiring, regularly attending meetings of the now West of Scotland Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers up until last year and with his almost perfect memory enjoying relating tales of his umpiring career to anyone interested in cricket and particularly those who encountered him striding along Paisley's Glasgow Road.

Tom passed away peacefully in the Royal Alexandra Hospital on the 29th July 2014 after a prolonged illness.

He will be greatly missed by all his former off and on field colleagues.

Tom's beloved wife Nancy, sadly preceded him. Tom is survived by his only daughter, Christine, her husband Matthew, granddaughters Kirstin and Lauren, and great grandson Cole whom Tom was always hopeful would follow in his footsteps and become involved in sport particularly cricket.