Paddy O'Hara (CricketEurope), March 2021
Peter was a large man and a real larger than life character. Sadly no longer with us. Permanently cheerful and good humoured, hugely popular and great company, he was universally liked by all who met him.
In his time as one of NIACUS’ leading umpires, I have no doubt that his name would have been one of the first mentioned if there had been a poll of captains asking who they wanted to see coming through the gate on a match day.
First ‘capped’ in 1997, Peter White stood in nine internationals. He played a full part in the life of the Association, as an Instructor and did his stint as Chair.
I wrote somewhere recently that umpiring can be a curious occupation and that was never truer than one day Peter and I were at Instonians – the old Shane Park – and it turned out to be curious all right. Everything that could happen in a cricket match, happened that day and all of it at Peter’s end. A broken stump and bail, No balls and Wides, Bowlers running on the pitch, a batsman struck on the head, appeals rained in on him - at least two or three per over - and one or two impromptu conversations between bowlers and batsmen.
Meanwhile at my end it was a haven of tranquillity – nothing but count to six and call ‘Over’. At the fall of a wicket Peter said to me “ Do you think they would notice if we changed ends”.
Another fond memory of Peter, was a Leinster dinner. Four of us drove down and Liam Keegan had booked us in to a rather grand B&B in Foxrock (driving back that night was clearly out of the equation!) – an old family home run by two brothers – one did the cooking and the other was ‘front of house'.
The next morning we were down to breakfast around nine o’clock. Peter ‘did justice’ to the self -service sideboard buffet when Eamonn – it was Eamonn and Peter by now, like age old friends - took our order for the cooked part . No surprise that Peter ordered the full Irish. As he tucked in a family of Americans came in and sat at the next table. In no more than two minutes, they and Peter were all on first name terms and the three of us were just the audience. Where were they from , how long were they staying, where had they been and then an extensive list of places from Peter that they just had to visit before departing.
Eamonn came to take their order and noticing Peter’s empty plate the conversation went as follows :- “Peter, you enjoyed that” “ I did Eamonn” “Would you like a second helping” Well, that is very civil of you , I would indeed” The lot Peter ?” “The lot Eamonn”. By the time Peter had finished off plate number two, and the Americans had received all their tourist instructions, we were checking out at 11.45 am. to head home.
We lost a fair bit of time trying to find our way through Dublin to the northside and it was 12.45pm when we were approaching the Monasterboice Inn (no motorway back then ) when Peter stirred in the back seat “Ah, my favourite place – and just in time for lunch !!” So, in we went and we sipped a quiet beer while Peter demolished roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, accompanied by his favourite and legendary tipple “A Tullamore Dew and today’s water , please”.
Peter White – a mighty man and sadly missed.