Scotsman Obituaries: Hamish More, accomplished Scottish cricketer

Hamish More, cricketer. Born: 30 May 1940 in Edinburgh. Died: 2 January 2022 in Edinburgh, aged 81
As well as a top cricketer, Hamish More was a noted rugby playerAs well as a top cricketer, Hamish More was a noted rugby player
As well as a top cricketer, Hamish More was a noted rugby player

Hamish More was one of Scotland’s most accomplished cricketers of the past 60 years, a well-recognised, much admired and occasionally controversial figure in the sport whose reputation extended far beyond Scotland. During that period he played with and against the world’s best known names including Sobers, Truman, Boycott, Botham, the Chappell brothers and Hadlee among others and was proud to have played at some of the game’s most revered venues, including the six English Test grounds, as well as Test grounds in Bangladesh and Barbados.

Domestically he was best known for his association with Heriot’s F.P.s, whom he represented with considerable distinction and success over more than 30 years, captaining them for 13 seasons while amassing 45 Scotland caps and playing another 9 non-cap internationals. Hamish also achieved the exceptional feat of representing the M.C.C. more than 350 times. Technically very sound, he was a prolific opening bat, recording some 40 centuries, and was a first class wicket keeper.

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An outgoing, fun-loving personality, Hamish was a highly entertaining character who usually took centre stage in company. Not shy of voicing opinions, nor one to suffer from false modesty, his exuberance could sometimes be considered brash or abrasive, but for those close to him that was largely bluster, masking an essentially kind individual.

Hamish Keith More was born in Edinburgh to James, an Edinburgh Council solicitor, and Gladys, who had been a noted athlete. He had a younger brother, George, and sister, Heather. Brought up in Davidson’s Mains where he lived his whole life, he initially attended local primary school before going to George Heriot’s.

From a very young age he was enthralled by cricket, even fashioning a tiny bat and stumps to play a rudimentary game embellished by his own running commentary. Cricket became an all-consuming lifelong passion. At Heriots his potential was soon apparent as he spent four seasons in the 1st XI, captaining the team in his final year and scoring two centuries in successive weeks. In 1958, weeks after leaving school, he made his representative debut, for East of Scotland against Scottish Wayfarers, and became a Heriot’s 1st XI regular.

Despite consistently excellent form, including several centuries and a trial period with Somerset, who offered him terms, he did not make his full Scotland debut until 1966, against Cambridge University. Publicly insulting the selectors’ capabilities did little to help his cause, but from then until 1976 he played in almost all Scotland’s fixtures. Tragically, his wife Marie Pratt, whom he had wed in 1968, died from cancer that year and with responsibility for young children, Lesley and Hamish, he stepped down from international duty until 1980.

International highlights were many, among them innings of 143 against M.C.C. and 134 against Warwickshire. There were matches against touring West Indians, New Zealanders, Australians and Pakistanis, securing a record seven catches against the latter. He also played against the West Indians for a select XI at Scarborough; toured several countries with the Capercaillies, a Scottish composite team; toured Bangladesh with an M.C.C. ‘A’ team; and was invited by Graham Gooch to play for Essex against Yorkshire in a one-day game at the age of 45. It became a sore point for Hamish that despite his outstanding CV he was never inducted into the Scottish Cricket’s Hall of Fame.

Domestically with Heriots he was instrumental in many League and Cup successes until he retired from competitive cricket in 1993. These included East of Scotland League titles, Masterton Trophy wins and an outstanding Scottish Cup success in 1978. During his 35-year Goldenacre career he set repeated scoring records and regularly opened the batting with brother George, both setting a first wicket record of 220 at Selkirk. Among Hamish’s 24 club centuries his most memorable was 149 not out in 1965 against the Grange, a then East League record.

A naturally talented ball player, Hamish was also a very fine rugby player, having represented the 1st XV at school. A 1st XV F.P.s player following his debut against Langholm in late 1960, he played with and against the best Scottish players of the decade.

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He was particularly proud to have done so with his two outstanding fellow Herioters Ken Scotland and Andy Irvine, and to have played on all the then four Home Nations’ grounds. A noted exponent of 7-a-sides, he was a finalist at Hawick and Jedforest tournaments.

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Although competitive cricket ceased in 1993 he continued playing well into his seventies and remained immersed in the sport, recently watching the Ashes during the night on TV.

Hamish worked as an inspector dealing with insurance and pensions, initially with Commercial Union and then Friends’ Provident, to whom he was grateful for the generous free time afforded him to pursue cricket. His sporting status helped open doors for him in business in which he was very successful. A wellconnected figure, especially in Edinburgh, he often held court in Harry’s Bar in the West End, where he was a leading participant in a Friday Lunch Club and became friendly with former England football captain Johnny Haynes.

He formed a lasting and happy relationship with Kathy Hutton after meeting her around 1995. They enjoyed many foreign trips together, especially to South Africa and Australia, usually involving cricket.

A “one-off” character who joked he was “the King of Scotland”, Hamish was all about family. He is survived by his children, adored grandchildren Lily and Cian, Kathy and his brother and sister.


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