Obituary

William Findlay

FINDLAY, MR. WILLIAM, who died at his home at Tenterden, Kent, on June 19, aged 72, following a heart attack, was Secretary of M.C.C. from 1919 to 1926 and President in 1951-52. A wicket-keeper and batsman of considerable ability, he captained Eton in 1899 and, going to Oxford, gained his Blue in 1901 and the two following years. He led the Dark Blue side who beat Cambridge by 268 runs in 1903. From 1902 he played irregularly for Lancashire till 1906, helping to win the County Championship in 1904. In first-class cricket he held a batting average of 20.28 and dismissed 157 batsmen, 132 by catches.

He began important secretarial duties in 1907, when succeeding C. W. Alcock as Secretary of Surrey. Going to Lord's as assistant to F. E. (later Sir Francis) Lacey in 1929, he became Secretary of M.C.C. in 1926, a position he held for ten years, and for which his genial, diplomatic manner and never-failing courtesy suited him admirably. During his term of office at Lord's the new Grand Stand, with the famous "Father Time" weather-vane, was erected. In 1937 he made one of his biggest contributions to cricket legislature when heading a Commission appointed by M.C.C. to explore the question of the difficulties of counties taking part in the County Championship and which is always referred to as "The Findlay Commission."

A member of the Committee and a Trustee of M.C.C., he at one time served on the Committee of four separate county clubs, including that of Lancashire, of whom he was President in 1947 and 1948. His services to the game received recognition in the way of presentations from the Boards of Control of Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies and India.

His calm efficiency earned him a glowing tribute from the M.C.C. President of 1929, Field Marshal Lord Plumer, who said of him: "If Findlay had been a soldier, I should like to have had him on my staff." -- E. E.

© John Wisden & Co