Michael died suddenly on 13 October 1987 at his Sussex home. He had recently undergone an operation on his knee which had troubled him for some years but his death was quite unexpected.
The funeral took place at nearby Sullington parish church which was packed to overflowing by his many friends. His long time friend Bob Coombes paid a moving tribute to Michael during the service.
Michael was Prefect of Hail and Captain of his House – he was Chief Editor of the Johnian and a Librarian. He was a very good games player being Captain of Hockey, Squash, Tennis and Shooting and he was also an excellent golfer and CSM in the Cadet Corps. He gained his Higher School Certificate and only the attraction of working in the Oil industry prevented him going on to Oxford.
After Hurst he joined the Mobiloil Company for whom he worked for the rest of his life. After two years in Glasgow he returned to London to the Sales and Marketing Division. Sharing a flat with three golfing friends he entered fully into the life of a young bachelor about town.
In 1967 he met and married Jo Drew and move to Kenya where their two children, Anthony and Claire were born. Two years at Mobil’s headquarters in Connecticut were followed by three in Ghana where they just managed to avoid the revolution. In 1979 they returned to England to set up home at their lovely house in Storrington.
By now Michael was Mobil’s principal Government Public Relations adviser which gave him the greatest satisfaction of his career. This culminated in 1985 when his government contacts enabled him to persuade Margaret Thatcher to be the principal guest at Mobil!’::; Centenary Celebrations. Subsequently he was able to take an early retirement whilst retaining an independent consultancy on government relations with the Company.
At Hurst though he will principally be remembered as the best golfer the school has produced, certainly since the war. A scratch golfer, at Bognor and Littlehampton where he held the Amateur course record of 67 for many years he was a regular county player and of course a key member of the Hurst team in the Halford Hewitt and Merlin Salver Old Boys tournaments. Between 1957 and 1962 he won numerous county and club events, reached the last eight of the English amateur, the semi-final of the West of England and was a qualifying Amateur in the Open at Troon. He and his father were particularly unfortunate to lose the final of the ‘Father and Son’ at West Hill at the 19th. Abroad he was losing finalist in the Kenya amateur and won the Accra Open. The last eight years at the West Sussex Golf Club were probably the happiest of his golfing career. With Bob Coombes they had the record of playing in five consecutive finals of the Winter Foursomes winning once in 1982. He would have been Captain of the Club in 1989, and also Captain of the HJGS in this its diamond jubilee year. His golf style was deceptively simple and he was a magnificent putter, even if in recent years the cry “why do I play this bloody game” occasionally rang out as the odd six footer slipped by the hole.
Apart from Golf, he and Jo were a formidable bridge pair and both enjoyed the challenge of taming their large garden. To the writer and his many friends amongst HJ golfers , Michael was a man of great charm, splendid company, a bon viveur and a foursome partner of great patience in the face of adversity. We shall miss his company greatly.