Don Crighton Passes

16 Jul

Many cricket followers in Tayside and well beyond were stunned to learn of the very sudden death at the age of 73 on Saturday morning of Strathmore Cricket Club legend Don Crighton.

Don had been out enjoying his usual Friday night banter and a drink or two with friends at his local bowling club, but then sadly passed away in his sleep.

A born and bred Forfarian Don was one of those types who excelled at any sport he turned his hand to.

A relatively talented footballer in his younger day, he was an excellent swimmer and diver.    He played Badminton to a very high standard, was a single handicap golfer in his prime and far from a novice at squash and for a short spell on the curling rink.    Cricket and to a lesser extent in later life bowls were however his main sports.

He made his senior debut for ‘Strathie’ in 1957 going on to play over 1,000 games for the club during a playing career which eventually came to a close in 1990.  In that  time he had amassed over 23,000 runs in club fixtures.

He was the club captain at Lochside from 1970 to 1979 leading his side to Rothman Quaich (Scottish Cup) glory at Hamilton Crescent in August 1971 against a Kilmarnock side who had legendary Australian swing bowler Bob Massie as  their professional.  

What was remarkable about the Strathmore side that day was the fact that apart from another true legend and Don’s own personal hero professional Nigel Hazel, all other ten players were resident in the town of Forfar and all had  come through the ranks of the club’s junior side and second eleven over a period of time.

Don captained the Strathmore Union select for some number of years, having a similar role with the North District side.  He also captained a joint North/East select against  the Danish national team in Edinburgh, but had only one Scotland ‘B’ appearance on his ‘record card.’

He was reckoned by many to be the best uncapped batsman of his generation and certainly had Scotland played as many fixtures back in the period that he was in his ‘prime’ as they have done in recent times, greater representative honours would have come his way.

After retiral from the playing side of the game, Don had a short spell as a national league umpire and he continued to take a great interest in the game.  For a spell he was a regular at Scotland home fixtures and followed the England test side avidly.  

Apart from trips to the West Indies and Australia, he had been south of the border for the past eight years to watch a test match at various venues with a group of friends including his ‘best man’ Ralph Laing of Meigle and Perthshire fame.

Since the mid eighties Don was also  a keen bowler, a past President and Treasurer of the Canmore Bowling Club in Forfar and as he was on the cricket park a fierce but exceptionally fair competitor.

His loss will be felt by many friends in cricket clubs throughout Scotland, to many to mention in the town of Forfar itself, but most of all by wife Moira, they were due to celebrate their golden wedding in November and daughters Jane and Wendy.

His funeral service is due to take place at the Lowson Memorial Church in Forfar on Friday 18th July at 2.30p.m., followed by committal at the Parkgrove Crematorium in Friockheim.

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