Derbyshire-born cricket writer, Mike Carey, passes away

Monday 22nd May 2023
& News
Photography by: Derbyshire County Cricket Club Heritage Archive

Derbyshire County Cricket Club is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Mike Carey, a locally-based journalist with strong connections to the county club.

Heritage Officer David Griffin first encountered Carey (pictured above with Mike Hendrick) in the 1970s and provides this short obituary.

As teenagers following Derbyshire in the 1970s, Mike Carey was a familiar figure to us all, a popular writer – often accompanied by his pet dog – with forthright views on the game.

He was born in 1936, the year in which Derbyshire won their sole County Championship title and he began writing about cricket in the 1960s.

He reported on cricket in Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa covering England’s international tours, writing for The Guardian, The Independent and the Daily Telegraph and also worked with the BBC’s Test Match Special commentary team.

The Derby Press Box was a formidable environment for any young and aspiring journalist in the 1970s and 1980s as Carey formed an experienced and hard-hitting triumvirate alongside those other local wordsmiths Neil Hallam and Gerald Mortimer.

His media skills were even utilised by Derbyshire who appointed him as the club’s Press Officer for a time in the 1970s.

For two decades the Mike Carey XI played an end of season cricket match against Duffield at Eyes Meadow, and a measure of Carey’s influence and popularity was evident from the steady stream of current and former players who appeared in the fixture including Eddie Barlow, Kim Barnett, Colin Cowdrey, Mike Denness, Barry Wood, David Steele, Mike Selvey and Rob Bailey. These games were hugely entertaining and while cricketing bonhomie was at the centre of events, the matches raised funds for many charities including Guide Dogs for the Blind and the RSPCA.

As a writer he was happy to speak out, when necessary, even upsetting local umpires in the East Midlands during England’s tour of New Zealand in the late 1970s writing that: ”The standard of umpiring out here is even worse than in the Notts and Derbyshire Border League.”

Utilising and sharing his lifelong love of music, Carey presented Memorable Moments on Sunday afternoons on BBC Radio Derby for many years and published several books including The Ashes – Chappell’s Revenge, I’ll Sing You A Thousand Love Songs (The Denny Dennis Story), and of course Les Jackson – A Derbyshire Legend in 1997.

Everyone connected with Derbyshire County Cricket Club would like to extend their condolences to Mike’s family and friends.

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