TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Scottish cricket’s best-loved characters Jim Connell, who has died at the age of 75.
Connell was a talented cricketer who represented Ferguslie and Old Grammarians in Paisley, continuing to play first XI cricket until the age of 50.
However, he was best known in later life as one of the country’s top umpires, officiating at several international matches. He was in charge when Scotland played an India team containing batting legend Sunil Gavaskar in 1986 and the following year when the Scots faced Pakistan with superstars like Imran Khan and Zaheer Abbas in their line-up.
Connell went on to become the training officer in the west for the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (now the West of Scotland Association of Cricket Officials).
Secretary of the WSACO Jim McClymont said: “Jim was one of the larger-than-life characters of Scottish cricket. He was a fine player in his day, a fair and knowledgeable umpire and latterly an excellent teacher. Jim was the mentor of so many of today’s Scottish umpires.”
Alex Dowdalls, a leading Scots umpire, added: “Jim dedicated his life to cricket and has left a great legacy thanks to his outstanding training of aspiring umpires.”