Teams remember Mac and Dunc

Duncan Paterson obituary.
Duncan Paterson obituary.

THE memories of two former Gala Cricket Club stalwarts will be remembered this Sunday in a special Scotland versus England match at Meigle Park.

The Border League side will take on Yorkshire team Settle for the MSD/DSP Memorial Trophy in honour of Duncan Paterson and Malcolm Davidson.

Both friends died within weeks of each other in 2009 and their eldest sons, Scott Paterson and Andrew Davidson, have since set up a game between their respective clubs in their names.

Their fathers met when Malcolm, or Mac as he was better known, moved to Galashiels with his family in 1964 and joined the town’s cricket team.

He was incorporated into the side straight away and captained a Gala squad in 1965 which contained Duncan, an accomplished all-rounder, before earning the first of his 10 Scotland rugby caps in 1969.

Their cricketing talents combined perfectly in 1965 in a Border League clash with Kelso in 1965 when Paterson scored 35 and Davidson 28 in Gala’s total of 171.

Both then skittled out the Tweedsiders for 129 – Duncan taking five wickets to Malcolm’s four – with the match report describing Paterson and Davidson’s performances as “fine displays with both bat and ball”.

After leaving the Borders, the Davidson family returned to north Yorkshire, where Malcolm captained Settle and held a series of posts including club president before his death two years ago.

Andrew said: “We are really looking forward to the game, but from a personal view, coming back to Gala always excites. I loved every minute there – it was one long sporting holiday, really.

“I remember Lance Gibbs (West Indian international) bowling to me outside the clubhouse when his club Winterburn played Gala. Now that was something for a wee kid.

“I also remember quite clearly Dunc showing me the basics of rugby in the back garden.

“I would then go and watch him and Jock Turner in particular. I really learned all my rugby and cricket skills watching the Gala teams of 1964 and 1965.”

Settle hosted the inaugural match and won by six wickets in 2010, and the Ribblesdale League team will travel up to Scotland with a squad of 14 which contains Andrew and his four sons – including 13-year-old Yorkshire Schools player John.

But Scott Paterson is determined the trophy will not be heading back across the border.

He added: “On behalf of the family, we are humbled that both cricket clubs have decided to take on this fixture. Although my dad was better known in rugby circles, he also enjoyed his cricket in the 1960s and 1970s when both sports saw a greater crossover of players.

“Hopefully, we can get a good crowd for what should be a great day, and we will be going all out to win the trophy.”

The MSD/DSP Memorial Trophy starts at 2pm, with a barbecue and entertainment planned.

Settle will also take on a Border League select at Meigle Park on Monday and Langholm on Tuesday at Castleholm.