John Edward Patrick Ker (Jack) one of Scotland’s foremost
cricket stars, was born in Kelso on 17th October 1952. His
brother, Andrew Burgher Michael Ker, born on 16th October
1954, played cricket and rugby for Scotland. Their father
Andrew had played cricket, badminton and tennis to good
levels and Uncle Will was a good cricketer and international
umpire. Younger sister Patsy was to become a South hockey
player. As boys, Jack and Michael quickly developed a great
rivalry turning their cul-de-sac at Abbey Court into a series of
Jack’s teen years were spent mainly on the football field with Kelso United and Duns where he caught the interest of Hibernian and Aston Villa. However, after finishing a football match, Jack went with friends to Hawick to watch his brother help Kelso to win the Hawick Sevens. The next week he was at Poynder Park and was to play centre (occasionally stand-off and full-back) in the Kelso Ist XV for the next three years. Jack a gifted all-rounder, having a golf handicap of four and excelling at badminton, was picked to play cricket for Scotland. Unfortunately, the match clashed with his final PE exams at Jordanhill College and he had to turn down the chance. It was five years before he was selected by Scotland again, during which he helped Kelso and Heriot’s to league titles. In his first match for Scotland, he bowled David Gower with his very first ball and also scored a run with his first ball. He also bowled the legendary Indian trio of Sunil Gavaskar (again first ball), Mohammad Azharuddin and Dilip Vengsarkar playing for Scotland in two one-day internationals at Dumfries and scored 50 against New Zealand in Dundee. In his 10 years playing for Scotland, he won 57 caps retiring in 1987.
Andrew played rugby for Kelso High School and Kelso Ist XV before being selected for South of Scotland, Scotland ‘B’ and the full Scotland side. He followed his brother to Jordanhill College. He had won the first of 22 Scotland cricket caps against Australia in 1981 and it was against Australia that he first sat on the rugby bench for Scotland in 1984. He was in competition with John Rutherford for the Scotland no. 10 jersey, which he finally achieved at the age of 33. Between 1973 and 1990 Andrew was one of Scotland’s brightest stars on the rugby sevens circuit, winning 43 Border Sevens tournaments, finishing runner-up a further 13 and representing Scotland around the world.
Find out about the contribution people from Kelso have made through the ages. Biographies of characters with Kelso connections who have made their mark throughout the world.View Storyboard: The Ker Brothers