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Ireland cricket mourns Derek Scott

By Ian Callender

Derek Scott, the former secretary of the old Irish Cricket Union, has died aged 86.

The highlight of his playing career was captaining Railway Union - a team which included Ginger O'Brien, father of current internationals Niall and Kevin - to the Leinster League title in 1960.

But it was his service to the ICU which made him a legend of Irish cricket.

He was already assistant secretary during his playing days and he succeeded Jimmy Boucher as secretary in 1974.

It was a post he held for 23 years and in that time he never missed an Ireland match. His love for and knowledge of Irish cricket may never be equalled and his reports of Ireland matches, which are still archived on the Cricket Europe website, were meticulous in their detail.

When I started out in journalism he told me my first paragraph in a cricket report should always include the toss and weather!

That was the way he was brought up.

But he was never a great lover of the press - I had many run-ins with him, most famously on returning from my honeymoon when I asked him if my wife could come in for tea.

His reply: "We can't have wives of the press having tea with the players!"

But after he left office in 1997, to be succeeded by John Wright, he mellowed with age and was always one of the first people I turned to for historical facts, before the days of the internet.

His crowning glory was his year as ICU president in 2001, but he had suffered from ill health ever since and lived in a nursing home for years up to his death.

There will never be another Derek Scott.

Belfast Telegraph


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