Obituary: Michael Douglas Hutton, cheesemonger, businessman and rugby player

Born: 30 March, 1940, in Edinburgh. Died: 29 December, 2013, in Edinburgh, aged 73

Michael Douglas Hutton: Quick-witted cheesemonger who loved rugby, golf and the company of his many friends

Mike Hutton was a larger than life character who enjoyed all sports but especially swimming – he swam for Warrender Baths Club – as well as rugby and golf.

When he left George Heriot’s School he played for Edinburgh Northern and Edinburgh Borderers before joining Heriot’s FP in the early 1960s, and soon became a regular in the first 15, playing either at prop or second row.

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Although he was a little short for a second row forward, what he lacked in height he more than made up for in effort and strength. Norman Mair wrote in a match report for The Scotsman that he was “the Iron Man of ruck and maul”, a quote used at every opportunity thereafter by Mike.

He played mainly in the first 15 for more than ten seasons at a time when Heriot’s had a very good side and one of the highlights for him was a match against Cardiff on a Friday night before a Wales/Scotland international. Heriot’s were not given any chance by the pundits but they won 9-8.

After retiring from Heriot’s he spent his last season with North Berwick as player/coach.

After rugby his main sport was golf.

He had learned to play at Kingsknowe and was good enough to play in their junior team, but it was only after he had relocated to North Berwick and joined Tantallon Golf Club that he started to play a bit more and got his handicap down to single figures.

At this time he was also a member of the Round Table and to raise funds for charity he undertook to hit a ball, using only one club, along the beach from Gullane to North Berwick, a distance of seven miles. He started in a thunderstorm but completed the task in five hours, taking 605 shots and raising a considerable sum for charity.

He claimed bunkers held no fear for him after that.

He served on the council at Tantallon and was elected as captain in 1992, an honour he was very proud of.

He had already been a very successful captain of Heriot’s FP Golf Club in 1990 the club’s centenary year.

He was also a member of Gullane Golf Club for about 30 years and enjoyed golf there. He particularly enjoyed the match dinners and the matches made there. He served for two years on the council and was also dinner match recorder for two years.

In business he was one of the founding partners in Choosa Cheese, which started in 1974 as a specialist cheese shop in Edinburgh and developed into a successful retail, wholesale and manufacturing business.

Mike was a character, a personality and a people person with a great sense of humour, a quick mind and a sharp wit. He enjoyed being in the company of his friends whether at Goldenacre, Tantallon, Gullane or with his Friday lunch group at the Golf Tavern. Comradeship was very important to him.

Mike is survived by his wife Anne, his daughters Alison, Eileen and Sally, and his four grandchildren, all of whom he loved dearly and who played a very important part in his life.