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SCC mourns after shock death of sports pioneer

The Singapore Cricket Club said in a statement that president Michael Grice passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning “following an accidental fall at the club”.

SINGAPORE: The death of Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) president Michael Grice on Sunday (Aug 24) was described as a great loss for Singapore sport.

Mr Grice, 70, took over the helm of the storied Padang club in April. In a statement, the SCC said he passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning “following an accidental fall at the club”.

Sources said Mr Grice was found unconscious after having apparently fallen at the staircase leading to the restrooms. He was taken to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead at 5am.

Said the SSC statement: “Michael had enjoyed a memorable day at the SCC’s Twenty/20 Tournament, where he spoke with his usual passion and wit to fellow sportsmen and women attending the tournament dinner.”

A minute’s silence was observed before Sunday’s final of the 2014 SCC Twenty/20, a tournament that the club’s general manager Nigel Stearns credited as Grice’s brainchild for its inauguration in 2009.

“He didn’t invent the tournament but for sure he was instrumental in organising the SCC’s Twenty/20 tournament,” said Mr Stearns, adding that Mr Grice will always be remembered as man whose passion and love for the club and cricket was unquestionable.

Dr Harjit Singh, president of the Johor Cricket Council, described Mr Grice as a true gentleman.

“I knew him when I was playing cricket for Malaysia in the matches against Singapore at the Padang, and I will remember him as a soft-spoken man,” said Dr Harjit. “He was a nice guy, ever polite and never had a bad word to say about others.”

Lawyer Mahmood Ghazvani, a longtime SCC member, described him as a man who had worked tirelessly for the club for four decades.

“Whatever he did it was for the improvement of the club,” said Mr Mahmood. “I find it hard to deal with the sudden loss of a true gentleman who was well-liked and easily accessible.”

Former journalist Suresh Nair remembers him as someone involved for many years in organising the SCC Soccer 7s, which attracted the likes of Kevin Keegan, Geoff Hurst and Osvaldo Ardiles to the Padang.

“A gentleman with no airs, he was a volunteer extraordinary, spending countless hours at SCC, having his hand in every major sporting activity from football, rugby, hockey, cricket, netball, tennis, squash and lawn bowls,” said Mr Nair, who noted how Grice rose from the club grassroots to be the President. “You’re one of a kind, Grice, I will never forget you as a Padang role model.”