Michael Skliros 1933-2018

Cambridge University Rugby Fives Club

We are sad to report the death of former Cambridge University Captain, Michael Skliros (Oundle & Clare), at the age of 85.

Michael won the Public Schools Singles and Doubles titles in 1952.  He played for Cambridge in the Varsity Match four times from 1955 to 1958, captaining the side in 1957.

In 1956, while undergraduates, Michael and his partner Mike Scott from Oxford were runners-up in the National Doubles to Pretlove & Silk.

Michael was a Jester from 1965, playing many matches for the club.

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Michael’s wife, Inge, wrote as follows for Oundle School: Michael Peter Skliros came to Oundle as a minor scholar and thoroughly enjoyed the sporting life, gaining school colours in cricket and fives, and sundry house colours. He was a member of the legendary Assassins (49-50 Cricket XI) who continued to meet, either to play cricket or socialise for the next 69 years. He was a founder member of the Chancel Choir, under Hilaire Kelynack. He won the Schools’ Fives Championships, singles and doubles, in 1952.

Going on to Clare College, Cambridge, via National Service with the Royal Engineers in Korea, Michael read Natural Sciences, then Theology in his third year with John Robinson as tutor. He was an enthusiastic member of the University Air Squadron, gaining some 250 flying hours, and sang with the now famous Clare Choir. He captained the University Fives team in 1956-57. After a curacy he served as Assistant Chaplain at Denstone College under Barry Trapnell, who let him take the RAF Section boys up in an Auster, two-by-two, and teach them to fly. Autres temps! Happily, at a Denstone 60s Leavers’ Reunion, three came up to him and told him they had taken up flying as a career, two commercial and one RAF. So that’s alright then.

After a career as an RAF Chaplain Michael returned to civilian life to found a print works based on modern computer-to-press typesetting skills. This enabled a very happy relationship with fellow Oundelian Chris Piper, together producing The Old Oundelian for 17 years. Then a domestic ‘speed bump’ caused him to go to Canada and remarry. After a 12-year retirement ministry at Brandon Cathedral, the relentless arctic conditions caused them to retire to Oundle, where he watched the School flourish from the touchline.

1952 National Schools Doubles finalists

1955 Jesters v. Alleyn Old Boys

2017 Michael talking to Cambridge captain Matt Shaw at Oundle