THE son of a successful businessman who spent over 30 years working as an accountant in Kenya has died aged 96.

Colin Leigh was born on July 26, 1924, the only son of Marjorie and Samuel Leigh, who resided at ‘Croftdown’ in Witney’s Corn Street.

His father co-owned and ran the family ironmongers and agricultural business Leigh & Sons, a Witney landmark for over 100 years, situated opposite the Buttercross.

Mr Leigh’s early years were spent in the town, before attending Dean Close School in Cheltenham, and then Abingdon School.

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He embarked on his accountancy career at Thornton’s in Oxford in 1941.

He then joined the Royal Artillery as a radar operator in 1943, serving in port defence in England, before he was then assigned to both Egypt and Italy during the Second World War.

He returned to his accountancy career at Thornton’s after the war ended, before accepting a position in Kenya, where he emigrated to in 1951.

Mr Leigh met his wife, Lilian, in Nairobi, the country’s capital, and the couple married in 1952.

Mr Leigh was employed by a local accountancy firm, Alexander & Ingram, and worked in the coastal city, Mombasa, before moving back to Nairobi in 1958 when he became a partner in the company.

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Mr Leigh remained in Kenya after the country gained independence in 1963, and became a senior partner at Alexander & Ingram in 1975 when the firm merged with Price Waterhouse.

Mr Leigh retired in 1984 and along with his wife, returned to West Oxfordshire, to live in Burford, where they spent many happy years.

After the death of his wife in 2009, Mr Leigh moved to Aberdeen to be closer to his daughter.

Mr Leigh always had a keen interest in sport, stemming from his childhood spent swimming in the River Windrush, through to playing cricket and hockey at school.

He extended his love of cricket in Kenya, playing for the Wanderers at Mombasa Club.

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In 1958, he was selected to play in the test match against the Marylebone Cricket Club, the same year he broke the Kenyan record for the most wickets taken by a single player in a match.

While in Nairobi, he played as a wicket-keeper for the prestigious Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club, one of the oldest teams in the country.

Paying tribute to him, Mr Leigh’s family said he was a hard worker and enjoyed his sport, but was also a gentle mentor, great listener, caring and generous gentleman and will be remembered with great affection.

His love for his family was always very apparent and he will be much missed as father to Anthony and Vanessa, father-in-law to Martin and Eva, and grandfather of Claire and Fiona.

Mr Leigh died peacefully in Aberdeen on Wednesday, August 12.