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Obituary: Bashley Football Club president Mike Cranidge

ALTHOUGH legendary for his involvement in Bashley football club for 20 years – latterly as life president – Mike Cranidge had much more in his life including a love of cricket, allotments, and maps.

After a battle with prostate cancer “borne with great fortitude” Mike died at the age of 84 in September.

His life was, according to his family, “foremost dominated” by a long career in the map industry which he began at the tender age of 16.

Mike Cranidge was legendary president of Bashley FC and also keen allotment tenant, cricket player who had a long career in the map industry
Mike Cranidge was legendary president of Bashley FC and also keen allotment tenant, cricket player who had a long career in the map industry

Born in Bournemouth in May 1939, to parents Irene and Eric Cranidge, he was joined a few years later by younger sister Linda.

Mike attended East Howe Junior School where he loved cricket and played for the school team where he quickly became known as a specialist gully fielder.

After passing his 11-plus Mike went on to Bournemouth Grammar School where he excelled at map reading and geography. After leaving he joined Ordnance Survey in 1955 and began training as a cartographic surveyor.

His career in maps was only interrupted by National Service.

During his time with the OS he progressed from surveyor to technical and management training, and finally to sales and marketing.

He was a director of the International Map Trade Association in the ’90s and helped to create its European division.

Mike worked in several offices on the south coast before ending his career at Southampton. He moved to Sway where he quickly became a tenant at Sway allotments in which he was actively involved with for over 40 years, serving on the committee for much of that time.

He had met first wife Anne in 1962, and they were married just a year later going on to have two children – Neil and Emma.

Mike and Anne divorced in the mid-80s. After meeting second wife Sue, whom he married in 1989, the couple eventually settled down in Barton with her two young children Alex and Lucy.

Sue became his office manager until Mike retired from the OS at the age of 60 in 1999. But he was still involved in the map industry, organising conferences and trade shows until 2004.

He finally retired for good but was as busy as ever, enjoying holidays with the family which by now had been boosted by grandchildren Jessica, Hannah, Lewis, Ben, Dan and Leo.

Tragically Sue’s daughter Lucy was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged just 18 and died on New Year’s Eve 2000 at Oakhaven Hospice.

Afterwards Mike and Sue became great champions and fundraisers for Oakhaven, where Sue herself was cared for after she was diagnosed with cancer. She died in April 2011.

According to his friends and family, Mike’s “world as he knew it came to a crashing halt”. But aware Sue would not want him “moping about” he devoted himself to family and football, while also “faithfully” keeping Sue’s memory alive.

A huge supporter of Bashley Football Club, he became involved with them “doing everything he could possibly do” including once driving the supporters coach to matches.

Mike’s funeral was held at New Forest Crematorium on 12th October at which tributes were delivered by Bashley chair Paul Lucas, family friend Bill Hunt who had flown in from California, and Alex and Neil.

His wake was held at Bashley FC’s GlenMex stadium where there was a display of produce donated by Sway allotments.

Donations in Mike’s memory to Prostate Cancer UK can be donated via Colin Hayley & Tapper Funeral Service, 51-53 Old Milton Rd, New Milton BH25 6DJ or online at www.tapperfuneralservice.co.uk

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