MIKE'S OUTSTANDING INNINGS IS CUT SHORT.

12th Feb 2024

                           MIKE'S OUTSTANDING INNINGS IS CUT SHORT.

 

                        Mike W. Robinson 18/3/1960- 16/12/2023, aged 63.

 

We are deeply saddened to report that Mike Robinson's battle with cancer ended on 16th Dec 2023. Mike was diagnosed with bile duct cancer of the liver in November 2022. Chemotherapy took place but, with a compromised immune system, he contracted an infection in October 2023 from which he did not recover. He died on 16th Dec 2023 at the Wellington Hospital, St John's Wood, a stone's throw from Lord's, with partner Fiona, daughter Molly & son Sam, at his side.

 

He always made light of his condition &his doctor wrote " he was a gentleman of great courage who faced his illness with immense fortitude".

 

A Cragside primary schoolboy Mike joined the RGS in Horsley House in 1971, aged 11. Simon, his cousin, joined in the same year. Sport played a key role, he played cricket for the school, the County & South North & badminton at St George's, Jesmond.

 

Mike Anderson (RGS 1973-78) remembers " we played cricket together at the RGS & for Northumberland all through school, in the 1st X1 1976-78 & at SNCC where the best U17 X1 the club had ever had, won the Northumberland league & Friarside Cup in 1977. Mike was captain & scored 65* in the final which was won by 9 wickets. As a team we developed a special bond"

 

" He was RGS 1stX1 Captain in both lower & upper 6th years, a testament to his leadership skills. In 1978 he was House Captain of Horsley & won full colours for both cricket & badminton. Both of us were selected for the North of England schools & played one game at Milnrow against the West of England".

 

"Mike was organised, conscientious, bright, involving, challenging, keen to win & he got the best out of people"

 

Mick Thompson (RGS 1973-80) reflects " I was two years below Mike but a few of us were lucky enough to play in the 1978 RGS 1st X1 which he captained so ably, the County schoolboys of that year & be part of the previous year's league & cup wins for South North. Mike, with Mike Anderson, was one of the finest batsmen of our generation. Modest, positive, interested in others, so proud of his family & a leader"

 

Richard Calvert (Dame Allan's & SNCC) has fond memories of Mike as " a quality cricketer", an elegant batsman", " a formidable opponent" &" a wonderful team mate".

 

Mark Dolder (Dame Allan's & SNCC) remembers " Mike was very organised. A stylish & deceptively strong batsman playing the ball along the ground. He captained a team from the front, calmly, determinedly & with a smile".

 

"Modest, inclusive, friendly, supportive, brave & competitive, someone I was proud to share the field with".

 

Duncan Stephen (SNCC 1st X1 Capt. 1977-79) remembers Mike's 4 catches v Blyth & a partnership of 98 for the 2nd wicket v Alnwick in September 1977, when Mike top scored with 64 & in 1978 showing courage, concentration & agility to take 12 close to the wicket catches, something no other 18 year old outfielder has done since then.

 

In September 1978 Mike returned to RGS for a 7th term to take the Oxbridge entrance exams in late November. He was successful in gaining a place at Magdalen College, Cambridge to read Economics from Sept 1979, one of 16 RGS students to win Oxbridge places in that year.

 

At Cambridge he captained the Univ 2nd X1, the Crusaders, & may have had a chance of a Blue if the numbers of County contracted players, including Derek Pringle who made his England debut, had been fewer. Friend, fellow Crusaders opening bat & Darlington native, Ian Burnley remembers Mike's lists for everything !..... & later golf at Ashridge or Berkhamsted.

 

Mike joined accountants Coopers & Lybrand in 1982. Two years later Ali Temperly joined the audit team & remembers a thorough, hard working, rigorous boss who was also fun, kind & patient.

 

He became a partner in 1993  & was pivotal in setting up the Milton Keynes office, where he later became Senior Partner.

 

Mike retired from PwC in 2017 but simply became more involved in badminton & golf. Following a conversation with a serving board member Mike was invited to join the Badminton England Board of Directors. He accepted & was appointed Chair Of Finance, Risk & Corporate Services in June 2014.

 

He served as Finance Director on the Badminton Europe Council for 4 years & chaired BEC Governance & BEC HR Committees, He was a Trustee of the National Badminton Museum & took on the role of Chair, Badminton England in 2019.

 

He was Chair of the Chalfont & District Badminton Association for 10 years also Director of Badminton Wycombe. In 2023 he was re elected for a 4th term on the BE board the last 4 years as Chair. He was also Chair of Berkhamsted Golf Club........some list ! A tribute to his many personal & professional talents & remarkable energy.

 

Sue Storey, Badminton England CEO said  " The whole badminton community are deeply saddened by Mike's passing, a man who gave so much to the world of badminton. He was utterly dedicated, totally committed, boundlessly enthusiastic & worked tirelessly to transform the organisation & the sport"

 

210 people gathered at Amersham Crematorium on Mon 8th Jan 2024, 150 seated 60 standing, to say a sad farewell. The vast majority returned to Berkhamsted Golf Club for the wake. It was a cold day, snow flurries began in late afternoon.

 

The service included tributes from cousin Simon, Cambridge friend Ian Burnley, Coopers colleague Alison Temperley, daughter Molly & son Sam. Badminton England produced a book of condolence signed by 47 from all over the badminton world.

 

The 3-minute reflection time included "Give A Little Bit" by Supertramp, a favourite of Mike's accompanied by screens showing reels of MWR photos.

 

At the wake pictures & documents were on display including those so kindly supplied by Oliver Edwards (RGS History & ex MIC Cricket)- NOVO magazine extracts of Mike as House Captain of Horsley, 1stX1 cricket reports & averages 1976-78, a 1979 Prize Day programme extract referencing Mike's place at Magdalen College, Cambridge & a picture of the wooden display panel in the Main Hall RGS on which is engraved his name as a Cantab entrant.

 

"It was an emotional day but all together a very warm & loving tribute"

 

At SNCC members of the U17X1 1977 & 1st X1 1978 have donated to cover the cost of a memorial bench in Mike's name, to sit on the Pavilion steps next to Nigel Wardropper & Gavin Wake, fellow members of that successful 1977 U17X1 also sadly departed.

 

The world's sea lanes permitting, friends & family will gather at South North to view the bench & remember Mike on Friday 10th May 2024.

 

This is all so sad & much too soon.

 

Duncan.

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