1st December 1940, Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Scotland v Ireland, 13th June 1959, College Park Dublin
Mike Denness is probably the most famous international cricketer to have ever been produced by Scotland. Four test centuries in 28 test matches, and 25,886 first-class runs in a first-class cricket career from 1959 to 1980 are the briefest facts of his achievements.
After his family moved to Ayr, he was educated at Ayr Academy, where he played rugby with Ian Ure and Ian McLauchlan and played for Ayr Cricket Club at Cambusdoon, where he was coached by former Sussex player Charles Oakes. Denness was selected to play cricket for Scotland against Ireland in 1959 while still at school.
Such a brief synopsis masks a remarkable career in its own right. Followers of the game from Aberdeen to Dumfries, from Yorkshire to Kent, know that Mike Denness was the Scotsman who became cricket captain of England, a juxtaposition that undoubtedly caused a few raised eyebrows and questioning comments. There will always be a feeling of sympathy and understanding for him north of the border, and pride in his achievements. For all this, he and his fellow Scots can hold their heads high.
Mike was president of Kent County Cricket Club in 2012-2013, was selected as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the year in 1975 and was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours for services to sport.