Scotsman Obituaries: George Oliver, textiles designer and cricketing enthusiast

Gerard Ortiz

Not all sporting heroes are to be found indulging their skills on the industry of participate in. Some, like Selkirk cricket fanatic George Oliver, make their mark on the recreation by remaining outside the house the boundary rope.

George, who has died at the age of 95, was a person of the country’s most passionate cricket followers. He initially noticed Selkirk play at Philiphaugh in 1936 when he was 10 decades old, and more than the upcoming 85 a long time almost never missed a home fixture.

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Spectating from the similar location on the ground’s southern boundary – his have house staying located just a address generate absent alongside Ettrickhaugh Street – he would comply with the action out on the cricket square appear rain, hail or shine.

George Oliver was acknowledged all over Selkirk as ‘Mr Cricket’

“George has been an at any time-current at Philiphaugh for as very long as any one can recall,” mentioned Selkirk Cricket Club’s chair Neil Gentleman, “and he is going to be a big skip.

“A minute’s silence will be held in his memory at our up coming property match, although the club’s flag is being flown from the pavilion at 50 percent-mast as a mark of respect.”

A Souter born and bred, George played cricket when a pupil at Knowepark Faculty (wherever he gained the Dux prize), and would typically bowl to some of the senior Selkirk gamers at net exercise.

Leaving school at the age of 14, he put in four years functioning for the Forestry Fee dependent at Gatehouse-of-Fleet, right before volunteering for the RAF.

The youthful George Oliver in Palestine

Right after training at Bodmin he joined the Parachute Regiment, serving in the 8th Parachute Battalion. Only 18 at the time, he was not able to choose portion in the Paras’ well-known “Rhine drop”, but later on served for two years with the battalion in Palestine.

On being demobbed, his commanding officer gave George a glowing reference: “Corporal Oliver is very intelligent, faithful and generally reliable. His eager brain and individual integrity will be an invaluable asset to any employer.”

Returning to Selkirk, Mr Oliver started perform as a warper in Gardiner’s of Selkirk’s mill, and was inspired by a person of the administrators to review at the Specialized University in Galashiels with a perspective to qualifying as a designer.

This was 1 of the motives he did not control to participate in much cricket, frequently becoming necessary to research two to 3 evenings a 7 days for his design and style skills.

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Asked to identify some of the finest Selkirk gamers he’d found, George singled out the club’s famous all-round internationalist John Greive. “He was a massive hitter, and if a half-volley came up 1st ball, then it would go for 6. No problem,” he mentioned.

“I was at the game in 1937 when he and his fellow opener, Tom Kyle, made a report-breaking 214 for no wicket against Carlisle. That was pretty a thing.”

On June 23 1961 George married Anne (née Bell), who at that time was doing the job as a darner in Gardiner’s mill. The couple’s two daughters, Sandra and Joyce, were born in 1965 and 1967. Tragically, Sandra died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 31.

A keen gardener, Mr Oliver was well identified for his dahlia and gladioli-expanding exploits, winning a multitude of trophies on the Border flower present circuit.

Hill-walking was a further enthusiasm, and along with mates Pringle Gibb and Eb Riddell, he managed to wander the full 240-mile length of Selkirkshire’s boundary in the place of just six days.

This calendar year marks the 150th anniversary of Selkirk’s go to its new floor at Philiphaugh, with the initial website visitors to the floor – on June 8, 1872 – being the Grange club from Edinburgh.

Record repeated alone last month, when Grange III performed Selkirk in an East League match on Saturday June 11, though Grange Outdated Stars took on Selkirk Ancients in a commemorative fixture the following day.

Both of those contests were avidly viewed by George from his customary spot on the Philiphaugh boundary – the last Selkirk matches he noticed, and a fitting way to deliver the curtain down on his remarkable innings.

Mr Oliver is survived by his wife Anne, daughter Joyce and grandsons Jack, Frazer, Kyle and Blaine.

If you would like to submit an obituary (800-1000 phrases most popular, with jpeg impression), or have a suggestion for a issue, get in touch with [email protected]

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