Amir Ramsis Naguib

Hall of Fame

Amir Ramsis Naguib
Inducted: 2021

Amir Ramsis Naguib began playing Golf Croquet with friends at the Gezirah Club in Cairo in 1968.  He became a strong player and represented the club in Men’s Doubles in matches from 1970 to 1975.  However, marriage, children and building up and running his own tourist agency took him away from the game until 1992.

Now a successful businessman, Amir returned to croquet at the Heliopolis Club and was soon representing the club in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.  Over the next ten years, he became the team manager and a generous sponsor of tournaments and the top Egyptian players.

In 2001, Amir stood for election as President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation with the widespread support of the playing community.  He immediately set about reorganizing the inter-club competitions, namely the Egyptian League, the Egyptian Cup and the Egyptian Federation Cup, and introduced for the first time a domestic ranking system for men and women.  His other priority was the upgrading of the Egyptian Croquet Federation centre and the restoration of its three courts.

Amir was elected to the Management Committee of the World Croquet Federation in 2002.  Golf Croquet now stood on at least equal terms with Association Croquet and the Golf Croquet World Championship was now well established, having been held five times since 1996.  However, Amir recognised the needs of women and the older and younger players and, with the support of David Openshaw, the then WCF President, was the driving force behind the formation of a Women’s Golf Croquet World Championship, first held in 2005, an Under 21 Golf Croquet World Championship, first held in 2009 and an Over 50 Golf Croquet World Championship, first held in 2010.  All the inaugural events were held in Cairo and were great successes.  These events are now permanent items in the WCF championship schedule.

Amir also travelled widely to promote Golf Croquet, visiting England, Italy, the USA and China to showcase the fearless, hard-hitting Egyptian way of playing Golf Croquet.  Inevitably, the Egyptian approach influenced the tactics of top players in other countries and, eventually, led to the emergence in 2011 of the first non-Egyptian Golf Croquet World Champion.  As the President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation, Amir exercised his considerable administrative skills by acting as the organiser and manager of the Egyptian squads that have had and continue to have so much success at World Championship level.  During his tenure, Egypt has won four Golf Croquet World Championships, three Women’s Golf Croquet World Championships, two Over 50 World Championships and one Under 21 Golf Croquet World Championship.

Amir was elected as President of the World Croquet Federation in 2012 and served two four-year terms, retiring at the end of 2019.  He was a very popular President who ensured that he attended almost every World Championship during his period in office.  He remains a member of the WCF Management Committee and hopes to continue to serve croquet in Egypt and internationally for as long as he can.

The discovery in the 1980s that Egypt played Golf Croquet, and to a level undreamt of by players elsewhere, remains a pivotal moment in the history of the sport.  It led to the establishment of Golf Croquet as a serious code in its own right, shrugging off its previous reputation in other countries as an unimportant practice game that provided occasional amusement for Association Croquet players.

Egypt is still the world’s major Golf Croquet nation and the skills of its players, especially the younger stars, are a continuing inspiration to players all over the world.  The importance of Amir’s role in maintaining and developing Egyptian croquet for more than twenty years, and thereby supporting croquet worldwide, cannot be overstated.  He has been one of the most influential national administrators in the history of croquet and the game owes him a considerable debt of gratitude.

Five new members of the Hall of Fame

The WCF Hall of Fame Committee has elected the following five individuals as members of the Hall of Fame:

Bob Alman (USA) - croquet promoter and organiser

Jose Alvarez-Sala (Spain) - founder and developer of the Federacion Espanol de Croquet

Jenny Clarke (NZL) - the most successful woman croquet player at both codes

Salah Hassan (EGY) - Golf Croquet World Champion and Over-50 World Champion

Chris Hudson (ENG) - croquet promoter and first Secretary-General of the WCF

The citations may be found at WCF Hall of Fame Members

.

Salah Hassan

Hall of Fame

Salah Hassan
Born: 1964
Inducted: 2020

Salah Hassan was born in Egypt and discovered Golf Croquet in 1982 when two friends invited him to try the game at the Shooting Club, one of the leading sports clubs in Cairo.  He was immediately attracted to the game and it was to become his main recreational activity for the next four decades.  He was willing to practice intensively for up to five hours a day and soon became an active competitor in the many annual team and individual tournaments organised by the Egyptian Croquet Federation.

He won the Egyptian Singles Championship in 1996 and 2001, the Men’s Doubles Championship in 1998 (with Ahmed El Mahdy) and 2000 (with Mohammed Essam) and the Mixed Doubles Championship (with Nahed Hassan) in 1999.

Egypt joined the World Croquet Federation (“WCF”) in 1996 and the reputation of its players as the best exponents of Golf Croquet in the world helped to raise the profile of the game in the more traditional croquet countries which had hitherto regarded Association Croquet as the only serious competitive form of croquet.

The WCF held the first Golf Croquet World Championship in Italy in 1996 and followed it four further World Championships in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2002.  These were dominated by Khaled Younis (EGY), the winner in 1996, 1998 and 2002, and by Salah, who was World Champion in 1998 and 2000.

Salah also reached the final of the Golf Croquet World Championship in 2002 and 2006 and, shortly after his 50th birthday, won the Over-50 Golf Croquet World Championship in 2014.

In recent years, Salah has focused on coaching the younger Egyptian players such as Karim Ghamry, Amr El Ibiary and Mohamed Karem, who reached the final of the Golf Croquet World Championship in 2019.

Jenny Clarke

Hall of Fame

Jenny Clarke
Inducted: 2020

Jenny Clarke (New Zealand) began playing croquet whilst studying for her PhD in the UK at Oxford University in the 1990’s, becoming a regular player on the UK tournament circuit the following decade and becoming an accomplished A-Class player. She returned home to Christchurch in her native New Zealand, where she still lives with her husband Chris Clarke who she married in 2008. She is a life member of the Canterbury Croquet Association and the United Croquet Club.

Jenny plays both AC and GC and won the Women’s AC World Championship in 2012.  The GC title has always eluded her but she has two silver and three bronze medals in this event. She has been a member of the New Zealand AC and GC Test Teams for many years.  In addition to various Trans Tasman matches, she has made three appearances in the MacRobertson Shield including the victorious 2014 team and as captain of the 2017 team. She was also a member of the victorious Openshaw Shield team of 2016, only she and her husband have won both the AC and GC World Team Championships.

Jenny has won various open and women’s domestic titles both in NZ and the UK but her stand-out titles at this level are her three Australian Open Singles titles in 2010, 2018 and 2019.

Whilst it is her playing success which is particularly noteworthy, Jenny, who is a lecturer in Sport Science at Canterbury University, is also an accomplished coach. She coaches both AC and GC at an international level, has developed a coaching website and introduced the athlete-centred coaching methodology to croquet. She has also spent a good deal of time honing her own skills including changing from playing right to left handed in the midst of her career.

In addition to the many titles she has won, Jenny has regularly been the number 1 ranked female player at both AC and GC throughout the past 15 years and has also achieved the highest AC grade of any woman since the rankings began. Jenny is without doubt the outstanding female croquet player of her generation.

Jose Alvarez-Sala

Hall of Fame

Jose Alvarez-Sala

Born: 1953

Inducted: 2020

Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther established in 1994, together with two close family members, the Spanish Croquet Association, that was registered in the Spanish National Register of Sport Associations. Since then, up to the present time, Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther has been President for the 25 years plus of history of this Association, turned into Spanish Croquet Federation in 2015. Shortly after its establishment, Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther, achieved its integration in the European Croquet Federation (number 11 of 20 countries), as well as the status of “Observer Member” in the WCF that same year (number 18 of 29 countries), becoming first “Associate Member” in 2007 and later, in 2012 “Full Member” (with two votes, four votes in 2018 and six in 2020).

From 2002 to 2006, Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther was member of the Management Committee of the European Croquet Federation.Since the very first, Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther worked towards making this sport known in Spain, particularly in Asturias, organizing tournaments and events to draw new players. In 1995 he organized the I Spanish Championship of AC Croquet (currently this event has reached 26 editions).In the following years (1996-2006), the growth of croquet in Spain was more than remarkable, increasing to nearly 300 the number of FEC affiliations and a Spanish player participating for the first time in 1996 in the IV European Championship. This growth was associated with an improvement in the level of play of the Spanish representatives that, again, in 2005 and 2009, made it into a World Championship of AC Croquet in Cheltenham (England) and Palm Beach (USA).FEC hosted in 1999, as well as in 2004, the two first Open Championships (AC) contested in Spain. These two events augured, without a doubt, the important future that (it already was obvious) was in store for croquet in Spain.As a consequence of the efforts of Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther at the head of the Spanish Croquet Federation, croquet continued its expansion and, since 2010, croquet lawns were built in different regions of Spain, more so in the South (Andalucía) and in Madrid.On the other hand, Spain continued to participate in all major international competitions, and it is to be pointed out the exponential growth nationally, as well as the increasing recognition of the Spanish Croquet Federation abroad.

In 2012 (Egypt) and 2016 (England) Spain won a place at the World Championships of GC Croquet, and was able to make it into the Tier 2.1 of the World Championship of AC Croquet (England) in 2014.The work of Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther has been commended in several occasions, one of them being the Award for contribution to sports that he received in 2015 from the Spanish Olympic Committee (“COE”).Also, in 2017 (the same year in which two Spanish players became European champions of AC and GC croquet), the Spanish Croquet Federation presented Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther with a commemorative award as proof of sincere gratitude for his efforts and selfless dedication to croquet in Spain.In addition, that same year, Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther established, under the patronage of the Spanish Croquet Federation, the Spanish Croquet Academy. Its aims and functions being to promote the practice of croquet, to impart initiation lessons and improve the level of Spanish players, and to prepare referees and trainers to promote the development of croquet in Spain.For all these efforts and for his constant support and promotion of croquet, in 2018 Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala was again recognized by the COE as sports ambassador and promoter of healthy lifestyles. This recognition was, without doubt, one of the most representative of his sport’s achievements and we believe is a solid ground upon which to base the definition of the tireless effort of Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther as a major supporter of development and promotion of croquet in Spain, strongly recommended as a healthy sport to be incorporated into our regular activities.

In 2019, the Spanish Croquet Federation, under the direction of Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther, organized the 2nd GC Spanish Open Championship (the first being in 2015), attended by elite international players. Reg Bamford, Khaled Younis, Stephen Mulliner, Ahmed El Mahdi, Lionel Tibble, Robert Stafeckis and Sherif Abdelwahab, among others, participated in this championship that was won by a Spanish player.In the year 1994, at the beginning of this adventure, croquet had barely 30 affiliates and only one regulation lawn.

As a result of Prof. José Luis Álvarez-Sala Walther’s persistence (together with other enthusiasts, clubs and FEC MC members in the 25 years of this presidency since its establishment) the numbers in August 2020 are significantly different: nearly 1,400 affiliates and more than 26 regulation lawns (and the same number under construction), with croquet becoming more and more a common practice in Spain. Currently, Spanish croquet can boast more than 40 international players, understanding as such those that have officially represented Spain having been selected by the Spanish Croquet Federation. Similarly, if at the beginning the percentage of Spanish players represented a minimum amount of total active players globally, today we can affirm that Spain represents more than 13% of total GC active players in the World, according to the International GC Grading System of the WCF. It also has 4 players in the top 100 in this same modality and one player as number 6 in AC.

Bob Alman

Hall of Fame
Bob Alman

Born: 1939
Inducted: 2020

Bob Alman is a master promoter and organizer of croquet in the USA. He always says “croquet is my life”, and he has devoted himself to the game full-bore. Association Croquet, American Rules, Golf Croquet, backyard croquet: it doesn't matter to Alman. They all get his support.  He has also been an accomplished American Rules player and won a national doubles championship and continued to compete at a high level at that form of the game for many years.

Croquet clubs in most croquet-playing countries are primarily located in public spaces supported by local authorities. This is not the case in the USA. The majority of clubs are located in private country clubs or other venues not readily accessible to the public. When Tom McDonnell shifted his focus to building his own club in Santa Rosa, California, Bob devoted himself to building the San Francisco Croquet Club into the largest public club in the United States.

Bob Alman co-created and produced the San Francisco Open over its multi-decade-long span. At its height this tournament was the most competitive American rules tournament in the United States. Working with the Sonoma-Cutrer Croquet Club and the organizers of the famous association rules invitational there, Alman welcomed and introduced the American version of the game to many of the world’s best players, players such as Bamford, Clarke, Fulford, Lines, Maugham, Prince, Stephens, Lines and others. 

Bob Alman was instrumental in convincing reluctant local authorities to create the Oakland Croquet Club at an under-used bowling club, expanding croquet's footprint in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today the OCC is still thriving.

Alman was appointed the first manager of the USA's National Croquet Center in Palm Springs, Florida. Alman taught and promoted croquet in south Florida, an area with the largest population of croquet players in the United States.

In 1996 Alman created the website Croquet World Online. CWO will be his legacy and a lasting contribution to world croquet.            Alman moulded the website into something nothing seen before, a unique online news and feature croquet news service accessible to everyone in the world. Over the years CWO has covered world croquet in all its variety. It maintains an archive of hundreds of croquet-related stories. At times controversial, CWO strives to include all viewpoints. Not only that, it is highly entertaining to read.

Alman is now in his early eighties and continues to edit the website almost single-handedly. He is now endeavoring, through a handpicked editorial board, to turn the publication over to a new editor to continue the website through the twenty-first century.

 

Chris Hudson

Hall of Fame
Chris Hudson

Born: 1934
Died: 2015
Inducted: 2020

Chris Hudson, like many people, came to croquet by happy accident.  He had bought a house near Crewe which had a croquet lawn/bowling green, so he joined the Croquet Association (“CA”) so that he could play in tournaments.

The Croquet Secretary at Bowdon, Neil Williams, found out about him and wrote to him in 1973 asking him to join the club, which he did.  He quickly became heavily involved, becoming Croquet Secretary in 1974.  Over the next 42 years of his membership he made an outstanding contribution to the development of croquet in the club, in the UK and internationally.  He served as Bowdon’s Croquet Secretary from 1974 to 1980 and became chairman of the committee in 1981.  Thanks to his recruitment initiatives, the club acquired an enthusiastic team of younger players, many of whom went on to play at the top national and international level or to serve on CA council or to become coaches and referees.

Chris was elected to the  CA Council in 1982 and served as chairman of the Publicity and Development Committee until 1985 when he took on the role of CA Development Officer.  During his 15 years in that role he stimulated many initiatives, not always without controversy, but it is fair to say that his time was a golden period for the development of croquet in the UK.  The National Croquet Classic for garden players and the National Competition for Schools were two of his initiatives, national Junior Championships were started and Short Croquet, which could be played on a tennis court, was introduced.  He edited the Croquet Gazette from 1985 to 1992, modernising the format to widen the appeal with less emphasis on tournament reports and more articles of general interest; many will remember the musings of his regular correspondent, Dolly Rush.  Together with the then CA Secretary, Brian MacMillan, he worked to increase the sponsorship of croquet to the benefit of many major events.

In the early 1990s, Chris became an enthusiast for Golf Croquet (“GC”), which at the time was very much a poor relation of Association Croquet.  GC soon became a major project for him, something not universally popular in some croquet circles.

Chris was heavily involved in the foundation of the WCF, which was initiated by the CA under Andrew Hope’s chairmanship in 1986, and was elected the first Secretary-General in July 1989.  One of his first initiatives was an appeal to supporters worldwide to donate £100 to become a Friend of the WCF, the aim being to raise £25,000 as a reserve.  The response was positive and ensured the future financial stability of the WCF.

Concurrently, Chris had linked with the GC enthusiast, Syd Jones, and they persuaded Samantha Curry at the Ripon Spa Hotel to use the hotel’s croquet facilities to promote international competition.  GC brought a whole new cadre of players into the croquet world who became the economic base for many clubs with the result that GC is now a fundamental part of croquet’s vitality and development.

In 1996, Chris met General Ahmed Hamroush, the President of the Egyptian Croquet Federation.  As a result, Egypt joined the World Croquet Federation, the world was shown a whole new way to play GC and the first GC World Championship was held in Italy in that year.

Chris retired from the WCF in 2001.  During his 12 years of service, he had seen its international membership grow from 12 countries to 22 and assisted with the organisation of eight AC World Championships and four GC World Championships.

Chris was a quiet and self-effacing man.  He just got on with things without any self-publicity and the full extent of his contribution to the development of croquet will probably never be realised.

 

Bryan Dawson

Hall of Fame
Bryan Dawson

Born: 1946
Inducted: 2019

Bryan Dawson is a resident of Adelaide, South Australia and played Association Croquet competitively from 1988 to 2013. He made regular appearances in the Australian Men’s and Open Championships from the start of his career to the early 2000s and was a stalwart of the South Australian Interstate Team from 1991 to 2011. In 1999, he travelled to the USA to play in the Sonoma-Cutrer and Resort at the Mountain events and, in 2000, represented Australia in the MacRobertson Shield in New Zealand as well as making a second appearance at Sonoma-Cutrer.

However, Bryan made his major contribution to the game of croquet as the maker of the eponymous Dawson Ball, the premier competition croquet ball for over 25 years from 1992. At his Adelaide workshop, he undertook years of painstaking research into the precise mix of plastics and colours required for the cold moulding process that would produce a croquet ball that met the specifications reliably by being perfectly round, robust enough to withstand years of vigorous use and almost totally resilient to temperature changes.

The manufacture of croquet balls had evolved from the use of boxwood at the dawn of the game in the 19th Century to various forms of composition balls in the 20th Century, culminating in the widespread use of the famous “Eclipse” ball manufactured by John Jaques. Unfortunately, the plastic cover of a compressed cork inner became a source of weakness and, from 1980 onwards, a cottage industry of croquet ball manufacturers began to emerge. Names such as Barlow, Walker, Willhoite came and went and, even today, Sunshiny balls are still regularly used. But, without any doubt whatsoever, the ball that steadily took centre stage in almost every croquet-playing country in the world as the 1990s wore on was the Dawson Ball.

The only exception was in Egypt which had been self-sufficient in ball-making for decades. As a Golf Croquet nation, the Egyptians preferred very hard balls and used wooden mallets which were had faces capable of handling the sharp impact of ball on mallet face. However, with the growth of interest in international Golf Croquet came the realisation that Egyptian balls did not suit the new generation of carbon-fibre mallets with brass inserts. The sharpness of the impact of ball on face tended to break the adhesion of the insert to the head. The Egyptian Croquet Federation recognised that it made sense to use Dawson Balls in their own international events not only to suit foreign visitors but also to prepare their own players for using Dawson Balls in world championships. The Dawson Ball can now claim to be genuinely ubiquitous in croquet terms!

As a youngster, Bryan did not excel academically but had a strong mechanical and inventive streak. He joined his father in his cabinet and joinery business and learned the importance of being a perfectionist. Bryan began making croquet mallets even before taking up the game and was then encouraged to turn his attention to making a reliable croquet ball. He adopted the cold moulding process and embarked on continual research over many years on the effect of different components on the colour, resilience and temperature stability of the moulded ball. The Dawson 2000 ball was his final development based on the most accurate metal master ball that he had ever made.

Bryan decided to retire in 2017 and sold the business to Paul Mainwaring, a fellow-South Australian, who has continued Bryan’s work and supplies Dawson Balls all over the world. The contribution of Bryan’s wife, June, should not be overlooked. She played a very important role in supporting Bryan in the running of his business and was particularly responsible for dealing with customers and ensuring the efficient transportation of thousands of sets of Dawson Balls all over the world.

Bryan’s unique contribution to modern croquet will be remembered and appreciated by croquet players for as long as the Dawson Ball continues to be used.

Archie Peck

Hall of Fame
Archie Peck

Born: 1935
Died: 2012
Inducted: 2008

John Archibald McNeil (“Archie”) Peck was an all-round American sportsman who took up croquet in the 1960s and remained devoted to the game for the rest of his life.  Blessed with film-star good looks and a relaxed and affable personality, he became the “glamour boy” of the United States Croquet Association as its founder, Jack Osborn, successfully attracted the East Coast jet set to the charms of the game.  Archie was a natural athlete who played croquet with style, grace and skill and did much to put croquet on the map in America in the 1970s and 1980s.

Archie, who also played tennis and golf among other sports, was the USCA’s leading player for several years.  He won the USCA National Singles Championships in 1977, 1979, 1980 and 1982 and the National Doubles Championships in 1977 and 1979.  He was also the Southern Regional singles champion in 1982, 1983 and 1984, the year he was inducted into the USCA Hall of Fame.

He also played International Rules, as Association Croquet is known in the USA.  Archie enjoyed an international success by winning the Silver Jubilee Cup at the Hurlingham Club open tournament in London in August 1996 and showed that, even at the age of 72, he had not lost his touch by winning the USCA International Rules doubles championship with Steward Jackson in 2007.

After a successful career in West Palm Beach real estate, Archie decided to devote what most people would regard as their retirement years to ensuring that the newly-built 12 lawn National Croquet Center in Florida Mango Drive in West Palm Beach would be a success.  He was appointed Director of Croquet in 2001 at the age of 66 and thereafter gave what seemed to be 100 per cent of his time, talent and energy to ensure the success of the Center and promote the enjoyment of croquet.

He was usually to be found at the Center day and night either working on the lawns or being available to teach, help and encourage other players and newcomers.  He had a gift for understanding how to inspire players and correct their weaknesses with great encouragement.  He made the game fun and always encouraged good sportsmanship.

[Updated August 2017]

Keith Wylie

Hall of Fame
Keith Wylie

Born: 1945
Died: 1999
Inducted: 2008

 

Keith Francis Wylie grew up in Cambridge, the eldest son of an academic family, and was educated at Winchester and at King's College, Cambridge, where he read mathematics.  It was at Cambridge in the mid-1960s that he began playing croquet, one of a long series of players who took up the game while undergraduates, encouraged by Mrs. Heley, who entertained the university club on her private lawn.  Many of the Cambridge players in the annual Varsity matches against Oxford, a fixture revived in 1961, eventually achieved the highest honours in the game, but Wylie stood out as the most brilliant of them all.

Within five years he had won the three major titles in British croquet, the President's Cup in 1967, the Men's Championship in 1968 and the Open Championship in 1970 where he beat Nigel Aspinall in the final.  Defending the last of these titles in 1971, again facing the formidable Aspinall, he completed a sextuple peel in the second game of the final to complete his victory.  This manoeuvre had never before been achieved in such an important game and it established Wylie as one of the game's greats.  But, by turning down the possibility of selection for the Great Britain MacRobertson Shield team which went to Australia in 1969, he had already demonstrated his reluctance to take croquet too seriously – or, as some would say, seriously enough.

After leaving Cambridge as an undergraduate, he decided to become a barrister and returned to Cambridge in 1975-6 to read Law.  He represented the University in a match against Colchester and was responsible for inspiring Stephen Mulliner to take up croquet seriously.  Keith completed his studies for the Bar in London and joined a set of chambers in Southampton where he spent the rest of his career.  While establishing himself as a barrister he played little during the 1970s but, in 1974, he did play in two Test matches in England and then, in 1977, he again won the President's Cup.  In 1982 he felt able to join the British MacRobertson Shield team which was due to tour Australia.  This was to be his final appearance as a top-ranked player and, in the third Test Match against Australia, he produced another performance to rank with his 1971 triumph.

Australia and Great Britain entered the third and final round of Test Matches with two wins apiece against a New Zealand team weakened by the absence of Bob Jackson and with one victory and one loss to each other.  The destiny of the Shield would be therefore decided by the result of their final Test.  Having led 4-2 after two days, British prospects turned gloomy when they lost the first two matches on the final day and Keith, who had lost to the formidable Neil Spooner by comfortable margins in their first two encounters, also lost the first game of what soon became the deciding match. However, despite having by now lost five consecutive games to Spooner, Keith lifted his perfomance on a most challenging court and took the next two games to win the match and so achieve victory in the Test and in the Series.

Most of his best performances owed much to his coolness under pressure, which in turn appeared to result from his apparent reluctance to take winning, or the game itself, too earnestly. While others could be overwhelmed by the importance of winning or the occasion, he claimed to be more interested in the intellectual challenge that the game's tactics provide. While this attitude may sometimes have lost him games he might have won, it may also have provided the detachment and calmness needed to prevail on the really big occasions.

Keith Wylie coaching Jim Bast at the Nottingham test match in 1985

What is certain is that at his best he was one of the greatest exponents of the game ever seen, and that the ideas so lucidly and entertainingly expressed in his book "Expert Croquet Tactics" (1985) will remain the basis of intelligent thought and discussion of Association Croquet for years to come.

Wylie died in 1999 aged 54.  With his death, croquet lost its then most innovative thinker and the player who did most to confirm it as a game of intelligence and tactics in the latter half of the 20th century.  Keith Wylie truly played "chess on grass".