A private family funeral will be held followed by a Thanksgiving Service at St Andrews Church, Stogursey on 24th January at 2pm, to which all are invited.
Somerset County Cricket Club are mourning the sad loss of Michael Hill, who had a long association with Club.
He passed away on December 27th 2022 aged 88 surrounded by his family.
Michael was born at Stockland Lovell, near Bridgwater in 1934 and had his first experience of cricket when his mother Jacky would take him to watch his father Froude playing cricket for the local Fiddington team.
When war broke out in 1939 a Kentish school, Wellington House was evacuated to Somerset to Alfoxton Park (where William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived for a year) and in 1941 at the age of six and a half Michael joined the school as a weekly boarder .
When the school went back to Westgate, Kent in 1946, the young Michael went with them and the following year moved to become a pupil at King’s Canterbury.
He got to see his first ever game of cricket in 1946 when he went to watch Middlesex play Hampshire at Lord’s.
Growing up, Michael’s heroes were Jack White and Harold Gimblett.
On leaving school, he returned home to work on the family farm, but always got to watch one day’s cricket a year, which was normally Somerset against the tourists in Taunton, along with his father.
In 1960, Somerset County Cricket Club was short of money and asked for a loan in return for Membership, so both Michael and his father loaned £60 each. Five years later the pair were asked if they would like to give the money to the Club in return for life Membership, which turned out to be a very good investment!
Michael started to go along to the Somerset County AGMs and after becoming frustrated with what was going on behind the scenes he became involved with the committee. In 1969 he was voted in as one of the nine appointed Vice President Members.
This was the start of a long and successful association with the running of the Club during which he served as Chairman of Cricket, Chairman of SCCC and President, a role from which he stepped down in 2003.
During his time, Michael was involved with the signing of Brian Close as captain, under whose charge a young Somerset team including Ian Botham, Peter Denning, Brian Rose, Viv Richards and Joel Garner won the Club’s first ever trophies.
He was also Chairman at the time of the Shepton Mallet EGM in 1986 as a result of which Botham Garner and Richards all departed from Somerset.
Throughout his long and successful involvement with the Club, Michael always did what he thought was best for Somerset
Reflecting on the EGM some years later Michael said: “I was always determined to try to make things go the right way or as I thought. I guess I was a steadying hand and remained calm despite what was going on.”
One of the highlights of his years as president of Somerset was winning the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy at Lord’s in 2001.
Although he was running a highly successful farming business, Michael was to be seen at the County Ground on most matchdays and regularly traveled to away fixtures, and became a well known figure on the domestic cricketing scene.
Michael was responsible for the re-introduction of the Somerset CCC Yearbook in 1979 and from 1987 until 2003 edited the publication, which in addition to being a record of the season included articles from the national press all who held him in the highest regard.
Michael Hill was a true gentleman and highly respected by everyone who met him. He will go down as one of those responsible for Somerset becoming the Club that it is today.