His grandfather was a bus inspector in Glasgow and Max enjoyed visiting his workplace and helping check buses in and out of the bus station. It was the beginning of a lifelong interest in transport.
He was educated at Trinity Primary, Trinity Academy and Edinburgh University, where he gained a degree in geography.
He worked for Tayside Regional Council for a couple of years, and then returned to Edinburgh, working for Lothian Regional Council and then, after reorganisation, Edinburgh City Council, where he was public transport and accessibility manager. He was not directly involved in the trams, but was responsible for bus diversions.
Max enjoyed reading, television, photography, travel and attending air shows. But latterly his main interest, beyond work and family, was quizzes. An unassuming man, he never sought the limelight, but attained a measure of local celebrity as a key member of one of the most successful quiz teams in Scotland.
His team are believed to be the only one ever to win three different television quiz shows, setting a record score on Postcode Challenge on STV, beating a touring all-star team and 15 other teams on Quiz Trippers on Channel 4, and finally, joining the elite group who have beaten the Eggheads, BBC2’s resident team of full-time quiz experts, including several Mastermind champions.