It is with great sadness that I inform members of the peaceful passing of Chris McKie yesterday morning at The Gardens Care Home, Sawbridgeworth. Having joined as a 10-year-old in 2003, he played in every youth team, winning the U11 Nursery Trophy in 2004 and John Collins U13 Player of the Year in 2006. In 2009, he was awarded U16 Player of the Year for averaging 99 with the bat; the team making the Matchplay semi-final.
A strong, right-arm leg-spin bowler, he modeled his action on Shane Warne after watching the 2005 Ashes. He played in every men's Saturday XI, including the Fifths, and began playing for the First XI at the age of 16. In 2010, at the age of 17, he took his best figures of 6-24 against Ardleigh Green in a Second XI fixture (pictured below), finishing the year with 52 wickets at an average of less than 18 runs.
But Chris' contribution to the club came both off and on the field. As a boisterous, loud, funny and enthusiastic member of GPR, his relaxed, fun-loving attitude towards life was in sharp contrast to his competitive and hard-working approach to cricket. He was devoted to the club, and could often be seen on a Saturday evening in the clubhouse with a cigarette and a pint in one hand, and a continuously spinning ball in another.
Following a car accident in December 2014, Chis suffered a traumatic brain injury and never fully recovered consciousness. For those that knew him and visited him in these years, they went away hardly recognising the man and boy that had brought so much laughter to their lives. Instead, he will always be remembered by his friends and family as the cheeky, radiant and spirited lad we can see below, who was taken well before his time.