Tom William Kerr RIP
With the death of Tom Kerr on 29th July 2014 Scottish umpiring lost one of its most experienced officials of the latter half of the twentieth century.
Tom’s on-field career spanned almost four decades, the Western District Cricket Union being his umpiring homeland where he must have stood in some 500-600 games plus McCulloch Cup, Rowan Charity Cup, inter-district matches, and others too numerous to mention
With his experience and competence it was inevitable that the Scottish Cricket Union would call upon his services to stand in what were termed internationals and between 1968 and 1983 he stood in fifteen such matches involving New Zealand, India, MCC, PIA, Australia, Worcestershire, Yorkshire and Ireland when the Ireland fixtures were deemed to be First Class matches. In addition he accompanied Scotland to Worcester in 1981 to stand in two B&H warm-up matches at New Road.
Off the field Tom was the last of the umpires who attended informal gatherings in Rowan’s Tea Room in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street which in due course resulted in the formation of an umpires association in the West.
Pre the late 1970’s totally independent umpires associations existed in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow but around that time Tom was one of a small ad-hoc committee of experienced umpires and a scorer formed to investigate the practicalities of forming a Scotland wide association and who had the foresight to see that such a body could only be beneficial for all Scottish umpires and scorers
S.T.U.M.P.S. (an acronym related to Scotland, umpires and scorers but which nobody has solved) was duly formed around 1979 with Tom one of its committee members. It was short lived being disbanded the following year having been invited to become the Scotland Region of the Association of Cricket Umpires whose examinations Tom was one of the early and successful Scottish candidates. He became an examiner marking candidate’s papers from all over the United Kingdom and was the 1985/86 Scotland Regional Councillor.
Although he retired from active umpiring in 1983 he maintained his keen interest in umpiring, regularly attending meetings of the now West of Scotland Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers up until last year and with his almost perfect memory enjoying relating tales of his umpiring career to anyone interested in cricket and particularly those who encountered him striding along Paisley’s Glasgow Road.
He will be greatly missed by all his former off and on field colleagues.