Chris Day

A C K Day known affectionately as Chris became Deputy Bailiff in 1992 having been HM Comptroller and HM Procureur. He was also a fine all-round sportsman representing the island at cricket and coaching the island rugby team.

In the New Year’s Honours List of 2002 Chris was awarded a CBE for services to the Crown but he admitted that ‘teaching was really my instinct’. Away from the corridors of Crown work and Court Row, he let his hair down with a deep interest in sport and his two main passions, rugby and cricket. It was on the rugby fields that he first made his mark on the island. He was still six months away from his 18th birthday when his father gave written permission for him to be selected in the 1959 Siam Cup. Young Chris, who also played for the strong Blackheath club in London, lined up at scrum half and with his brother Philip as captain, Guernsey recorded a rare Siam Cup win. Before departing for Kenya, he headed back to the island to win two more Siams and play his part in a draw. It’s an overall representative record that all the modern Guernsey Siam Cup stars would love to match. Years later, when fully ensconced in island life, he took over the coaching of the Guernsey 1st XV and at the same time took on responsibility for junior player development. In the summer months and before the sacrosanct annual three-week family holiday in Sark ended his cricket season prematurely, he showed himself to be an equally able batsman as he was scrum half. ‘A very good player,’ recalled his former Pessimists opening partner, Bryan Preston. ‘He was very steady and really a five-day Test type of cricketer at times. A very correct player. A really nice chap and brilliant with everyone,’ he said.

He played one Inter Insular match, at the College Field, in 1973. The match was drawn but very nearly resulted in a win for Guernsey who had scored 240 in 63 overs, in which Chris scored 7, before being stumped. Jersey were hanging on after 50 overs at 145 for 9

But despite that tendency to be defensive, Chris could always and did explode into action from time to time. And during the golden days of the domestic club game when the annual GCA Knockout final was the high point of the season, arguably no one innings was more memorable than his man-of-the-match effort in 1976.

His 94 for Pessimists that August afternoon took the game away from favourites St Martin’s, who were chasing down the target until Day swooped at short extra-cover to take one of the finest catches seen in the local game and dismiss the dangerous Alan Lewis. It was about the same time that he smashed an unbeaten Division One evening league century, a rare feat. In later years when daughter Sarah was part of the Sirens women’s team, Chris was their coach and mentor. He also played representative hockey as a goalkeeper for the island third and fourth XIs.

Chris was learned, highly respected and loyal, but always fun to be with. The island has, indeed, lost a very special character.