John Templeton passes

26 Jun

John Templeton who umpired for many years in the Scottish Counties Championship and more recently in the Scottish National Cricket League, has died in hospital on Tuesday 23rd June.

He played for Stirling County CC. Indeed, Neil Leitch, the current Scotland scorer, remembers scoring a match for his club's seconds as a schoolboy and being encouraged and engaged in conversation by John as an opposing player.

After retiring from playing, he was encouraged by the late Hector Blackburn to take up umpiring and they often umpired together. Games with them were always convivial and they were always popular with the players.

John umpired in a European under 19 championship but I think the highlight of his career was in 2005 when he was asked to stand as third umpire in a senior European championship in Glasgow. He really enjoyed being with the umpires, being third umpire, and the reception at the end of the championship.

Although his heart was at the old ground at Williamfield, he would often be seen at Stirling's new ground after his retirement and it was always a pleasure to speak with him.

Duncan Walker, for many years secretary of Stirling county's rivals Stenhousemuir, said

"I umpired with John many times over the years, particularly after Hector died. We did a lot of National League and Scottish Cup games over the years and I would pick him up in St. Ninian's where John would be sitting on the wall at the top of Mayfield Street where he lived. Travelling with John was always interesting whether he was talking cricket or recounting the many tales about his work as a Clerk of Works with Ogilvie Builders.

John always believed in getting on with the players and he had played the game and knew what the players would accept, right or wrong. He was never demonstrative on the field and was well liked by the players. Of course John enjoyed a wee tipple and would be dropped off at the Borestone Bar after the game.

We saw a lot of John at Stenhousemuir as he umpired many of our games especially when we needed someone for Sunday cup games or friendlies with touring teams. John was always ready to oblige if he could.

Often on a Sunday, if John was umpiring, or even if he was not, Irwin Iffla and a few of their cronies from Stirling would appear and it would be a long night.

Latterly, I would see him if I umpired at Stirling. The years had not been kind to him but if John had done all the things he was supposed to do, that would have done for him more quickly.

He was a great servant to the game, always ready to turn out. I doubt if he could have been bothered with all the new rules and regulations. He just loved a simple game of cricket."

Many umpires have expressed similar sentiments.

Our condolences go to his family.

Sandy Scotland

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