To play a game of cricket, one needs umpires. Gentlemen that are prepared to give up their time to stand and officiate in a match to allow others to enjoy playing the sport. One such gentleman was Charlie McLaughlin. A well known and respected umpire in the west of Scotland. An amiable and friendly chap whose field craft as an umpire was admired by all those who had the pleasure of his presence.
His style of umpiring was firm, but pleasant and players trusted his decisions. If batsmen were given out, they were out and accepted the decision, and bowlers were politely declined with their appeal without remonstration. Charlie’s distinctively authoritative call of “Over” was his trademark and was often mimicked by many a cricketer, but out of respect for the man.
Charlie was always the first to say that cricket was simply a game and players shouldn’t get so upset about matters, but to be fair to Charlie, he was always keen to explain that cricket was more than just playing a game: it was about enjoying the game, on and off the field of play. Many a cricketer and club in the west will recount stories involving Charlie staying behind after a match and socialising with all and sundry. He was keen to support clubs with their fund-raising and social events and for Charlie, a Saturday’s umpiring at the cricket was also an enjoyable day, and more often than not, an evening out.
"Over" was called one final time as Charlie sadly passed away on Thursday 12th September 2013, and cricket in the west will miss him. He was a genuinely nice man who loved his cricket and contributed back into the sport by umpiring.
The funeral is at St Dominic's, Bishopbriggs this Friday at 9.30am. The WDCU and Cricket Scotland would like to pass on our thoughts and sympathy to his family.