Scott’s feats were amazing by any standard, but it was his modest personality that endeared him to so many people long after he had finished playing. He was a gifted sportsman and he loved talking about the game with people who shared a similar passion. The wonder of Scott Huey was that you would never have known he was such a brilliant player from his conversations, as he was much too modest to languish in self-adulation. He was a lovely person in every sense and his loss will be felt much farther than in North-West sport.
Scott was in his 89th year having been born in Donegal in 1923. He was educated at the Masonic Boys’ School in Dublin and was arguably its most famous sporting alumni. He was an outstanding young sportsman who excelled at cricket, hockey and badminton, but in truth, Scott excelled in virtually every sport. In due course he won international recognition in both cricket and badminton, and interprovincial selection for Ulster at hockey.
But it was cricket where he left his biggest sporting legacy, and from the late Forties his slow-left arm spin dominated the local game. Inevitably there will always be comparisons with John Flood, another master of spin and flight who dominated the North-West scene for over 20 years, but close analysis of Huey’s record will show that he achieved a lot more success at a higher level than Flood, notwithstanding the Sion man was an exceptional cricketer of lofty status.
Scott’s amazing performances down the years have been superbly documented by doyen statistician and historian Edward Liddle and his profile in Cricket Europe archives is a must read to get a full appreciation of the consistency of a remarkable bowler. It is a chronicle of “Roy of the Rovers” style performances. (http://www.cricketeurope4.net/DATABASE/ARTICLES5/articles/000005/000515.shtml)
A lot of Scott’s best performances at club level came against his old rivals Donemana, a club that rose to the top of post-war North-West cricket under the leadership of the great Alex McBrine. Scott initially started with City of Derry, but he found his cricket home at Eglinton and during the Fifties the club enjoyed its greatest era, much of their success on the back of their talisman Huey and, at the expense of Donemana. He took ten wickets in an innings on two occasions against his old rivals and he came perilously close to repeating this unique achievement on several other occasions. He was a useful batsman, but his batting owed more to his ability to focus and adapt to prevailing conditions rather than an inherent ability that rivalled his bowling prowess. His selection for the Gentlemen of Ireland in June 1951 may have appeared late in his career, but it has to be remembered he lived and played in an era where there were other fine slow bowlers of the ilk of Jack Bowden, Frank Fee, Sonny Hool and of course, John Flood. But he seized the opportunity with relish, and over 15 years he left an indelible imprint on Irish cricket. He topped the 1st Class Bowling Averages in 1954 after a superb performance against Scotland and he holds the unique record of being the last bowler to dismiss the legendary Sir Len Hutton in his farewell match for the MCC against Ireland in 1960. How fitting it was that his good friend and North-West legend Ossie Colhoun was part of that dismissal with a smart stumping.
Scott played for Ireland 36 times and was captain on five occasions from 1951 to 1966. He took 112 wickets in an era when cricket was played very different to the modern game, but there is little doubt he would have bridged the generation gap had age not caught up with him. He retired from representative cricket in the late Sixties after captaining the North-West team to the inaugural Interprovincial Championship in 1966. In later life he was a North-West and Ireland selector and North-West President, and he would have made an ideal ICU President had he allowed his name to go forward. Until illness prevailed, he was a regular spectator at many club and representative games, where he loved the camaraderie and friendship of meeting old friends and adversaries.
His passing is a sad day for Irish cricket.