Singapore Cricket Club chief dies after fall

Mr Grice, 70, was found unconscious near the SCC after a club dinner.
Mr Grice, 70, was found unconscious near the SCC after a club dinner.

Mr Michael Grice, the president of the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC), died early yesterday morning after an accidental fall on the stairs leading to the men's changing room at the club.

The Yorkshire-born 70-year-old, who had given a rousing speech during the dinner for the club's annual cricket tournament on Saturday night, died soon after he slipped and took a knock on his head while apparently on his way to collect his sports bag before leaving for home.

He was found unconscious by club members, who tried to resuscitate him and called for an ambulance. He was rushed to Singapore General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 5am.

Mr Grice was elected president of the club on April 22, after holding senior positions and heading various sporting sub-committees since he became a member in 1970, when he arrived in Singapore as a trading firm employee.

The football, cricket and rugby lover, who ran a sports business, was one of the driving forces behind the SCC's popular international cricket tournament, of which the fourth edition concluded at the Padang yesterday.

Over the years, the tournament has attracted several top international cricketers. On Saturday, England wicket-keeper Matt Prior, former India player Farokh Engineer and Indian Premier League chief operating officer Sundar Raman were present when Mr Grice spoke proudly about the progress it has made.

"He was an energetic president who had clear goals and wanted to achieve them," said Mr Sher Baljit Singh, SCC's deputy president. "He was mild-mannered but took up issues and fought for them passionately. He was committed to the club and spent a lot of time serving the various committees."

Lawyer and former Supreme Court judicial commissioner Joe Grimberg, 81, who had known Mr Grice for 40 years, said: "He was a very genial guy, who had great love for cricket in particular and sport in general... He was very gregarious, had friends of all races and was a true patriot of Singapore."

Mr Grice was an adviser to the Singapore Cricket Association and served as the Singapore Rugby Union's (SRU) vice-president from 2006 to 2008. He was on its current judiciary panel. "Michael was a real stalwart of Singapore rugby," said SRU president Low Teo Ping. "He was a keen supporter of the game at the school level and got the SCC to fund a number of youth development schemes."

The wake will be held at the Singapore Casket Company in Lavender Street from this evening. The funeral will be on Tuesday.

santosh@sph.com.sg