We were saddened to learn of the death of former Heriot Rugby and Cricket Club player Eddie McKeating.
Eddie was born on 1st September 1936 and brought up at 3 Warriston Gardens in the shadow of the goalposts on the stand pitch at Goldenacre. Neighbours Derek McCracken and Ken Scotland were born within a week of each other, travelled by tram to school together, and played for the school 1XV together. Eddie and Ken later made their debut for Scotland at rugby in Paris.
As a former British Schools 100 yards sprint champion Eddie’s game was very much based on his pace and a classic just above the knees tackling style. Tony O’Reilly still remembers being marked by Eddie in games against Belvedere College, Dublin “…..the best tackler that I ever played against”
Eddie had the unique record of having captained the school at rugby, cricket and athletics.
His first game for the 1st XV was as an emergency scrum half at the age of 15. At the time he was playing for the 3rds in the centre and the “experiment” had serious consequences for him. He had to leave the pitch injured which resulted in his spleen being removed. His recovery was quick enough to allow him 3 years in the School XV, 2 seasons playing for the Edinburgh Schools against Glasgow Schools and for London Scottish Schools against their Richmond Counterparts where he scored 3 tries. The injury however affected his later life.
At age 13 he batted at number 11 and bowled “chinamen”, without much success, for the 1st XI. Six years later he opened the batting and was a successful, if more prosaic, left arm spinner.
In January 1957, two years after leaving School, while doing his National Service in the RAF, Eddie won the first of his 6 Scotland caps playing on winning sides against France (6-0) in Paris at the Stade Olympique de Colombe and Wales at Murrayfield. Having done nothing wrong he was then dropped and wasn’t selected again until 1961. At Murrayfield a narrow loss against South Africa was followed by wins against Wales and Ireland. The loss at Twickenham going unsuccessfully for an elusive Triple Crown turned out to be his last cap. His record of 4 wins and 2 losses is one to be proud of.
Returning to Edinburgh after National Service he played for several seasons for the Club while starting a career in packaging under the wing of D E Muir, a Herioter and Scotland cap of the early 1950s. Promotion took Eddie to Glasgow and he finished his rugby days playing for West of Scotland. Further career moves led him to settle in Newcastle.
Eddie was a loving family man, and our thoughts are with his sister Cynthia, son Grant and daughter Gayle and all family members. Eddie was predeceased 5 years ago by his wife Catherine after a long and happy marriage.