Graeme Stewart Guthrie who died on 16 February aged 83 was an upper-order right hand batsman and a deservedly popular figure, throughout his long career in Leinster cricket, which lasted for almost 40 years. He was also, for both his clubs, Dublin University and Railway Union, to prove an inspiring captain, a shrewd tactician whose leadership skills were highly respected throughout Leinster cricket.

His first serious cricket was for King's School, Chester, where he was one of the prominent batsmen in the 1st XI. In his last season- 1957 - he was a regular at No 3 with several good scores to his credit. One match, which ended in a draw, showed the gritty determination which was to become well-known in both College Park and Park Avenue. Batting first in a home match against Royal Grammar School, Lancaster, the hosts were bowled out for 92. Graeme, fortunately for his side, having dominated the innings with a score of 65, there was only one other double-figure score. The visitors did no better, finishing on 77-8, with a highest score of 21.

Graeme also appeared with some success for Chester Boughton Hall in the Liverpool and District League, a tough competition, attracting several first-class cricketers. In matches in which a score has been seen, his best innings was 54 in a low-scoring contest against Norton, his knock crucial in a 3 wickets win.

Entering Trinity College in 1959 and soon establishing himself in the football team, Graeme was from the following summer to become an ever-present member of the 1st XI, establishing himself as a doughty opening bat. So began a remarkable career that was to be worth so much more than the runs he scored, though he was to have a clutch of memorable innings to his credit.

Among these was a match-winning knock in the Leinster Senior Cup Final of 1961, the first of three successive triumphs for the University in this tough competition. The opposition, ironically Railway Union posted a useful 189, meaning that there was no easy target against their nagging left armers Niall McConnell and Edgar Pigot. Opening with the captain, "Joes" Foster, Graeme made his top score for Trinity in competitive cricket, a stalwart 73, vital in the eventual nail-biting 2 wickets win.

Another fighting knock, this time in a losing cause, came in 1963, by which time he was, of course, captain against a powerful Loughborough Colleges XI in College Park. The visitors included three players with County Championship experience and enforced the follow on after gaining a first innings lead of 172! Roger Edmonds, a fast medium bowler who had played for Warwickshire and eventually took over 100 first-class wickets for the county, was too much for most of the hosts' batting, but Graeme, scorning the arguably dubious tactics of Edmonds, who bowled round the wicket to three short legs, made a courageous 47, one of the best innings I saw him play. 

That season also saw the third successive Cup Final triumph, in which Graeme's leadership played a major part, his batting also contributing with a crucial half-century, against Railway Union, in the semi-final. As scorer and occasional umpire, I greatly enjoyed the season, especially a memorable tour of Somerset and Devon where Graeme's leadership on and off the field stood out on several occasions. One opposition side claimed that they could not play us because of a wet wicket. A firm phone call from the skipper had them out on the field the next day. We won despite this writer, having to play in an emergency, dropping a catch. No prizes for guessing who caught the same batsman in the next over! 

Graeme's University career ended in 1964 after which he joined Railway, who were, doubtless glad to have him on their side. His Park Avenue career, while not unbroken, lasted for over 30 years. He totalled, in competitive cricket, 3585 runs, which, like the 868 he made for Trinity in no way represented his value to the side. He captained the club eight times, the first in 1966 and the last as late as 1997, when the Irish Times described his appearance on the field as "mature but sprightly." He also led the 2nd XI in 1983 and 1986. He hit nine senior fifties, his highest score being 95. I imagine that one innings that gave him particular pleasure must have been a 66 against his former club on the College Park ground as he contributed well to a massive match-winning total of 315. To round off a good performance, he took the last wicket to fall!

He also won the Bookman Cup in 1981, for the leading batting average in Senior 2 Cricket.

Graeme played three matches for South Leinster in 1968, unfortunately  achieving little. His best innings was 20 against Munster, who did have a formidable pair of medium pacers in Dennis Leng and Wally Booton 

He was also to make several returns to College Park to play in various Invitation XIs against the University. His highest score in such matches was in 1983 when he hit a second innings 54 in a rain-ruined draw, having opened the second innings with fellow veteran David Pigot. Another such appearance was in 1985 Past v Present match to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the foundation of DUCC, when he made a second innings 38, batting someway down the order.

He was followed into both the University and Railway Union sided by his son Rory, a sound batsman and wicket keeper who, coincidentally had the same highest score in completive matches for the University as his father. Both men, incidentally made one stumping for the XI, though Graeme was a strictly reserve wicket keeper

Stories about Graeme abound in College Park and, no doubt, at Park Avenue also. Some, such as the treatment he accorded to the visitors' dressing room at Ealing CC when on tour, may be apocryphal but many are not. I recall a group of us being removed from a Dublin Chinese Restaurant, when, having been denied, probably with good reason, a wine list, our captain demanded from the waiter "Bring us a selection of your waters." We soon found ourselves outside on the pavement in Wicklow Street"

In retirement in Co Mayo, he was still involved in cricket as well as enlivening the letters pages of the Irish Times. He will be long remembered and much missed by those who knew him either in person or by reputation. Cricket Europe joins other cricketers in expressing its sympathy on their loss to his wife and family.