Keith White MBE is Managing Director and co-owner of a chain of retail and manufacturing jewellers, Michael Spiers, with five shops in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Known locally as 'Mr Squash' Keith has been involved in squash for over 65 years.
Educated at Brighton College, Keith was British Junior Champion 1955-1958 and has subsequently competed through all the age groups in squash, and represented both Middlesex and Devon counties for 30 years. As a veteran (over-45) he captained the Devon county team to win the national title 1988/1989. In 1986/1987 Keith was British Veterans doubles champion. Keith has represented Great Britain at five Maccabiah Games in all age groups, in both individual and team events and won five gold medals. His passion doesn't stop there though, as well as supporting the youth development of squash (which he still coaches from age 6-18 years) he also supports sport in the community with a wide range of sponsorship for local teams.
Keith has been married to Rita for 48 years and they have two children - Samantha who lives in Canada, and Damian who lives in Brighton. In 2012 Keith was on the Queen's Honours List for an MBE which he received at the end of February. This was for his service to sport in the South West of England over many years.
Keith likes travel and cruising, jazz music, Spurs football team ... and a little squash!!
"I was at Brighton College from 1953 to 1957 in Durnford House. The Headmaster at the time was Ian Stewart who was a great inspiration and Geoff Lees was my squash coach. Mr Lees was certainly someone whose encouragement and guidance enabled me to reach the high standards I achieved over the years. I still attend the annual reunions (held at a bistro in London) with Graham Appleton and many rugby OBs of that era."
- When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you 'grew-up'?
My dream was to be a professional sportsman when I 'grew-up' ... regret failed miserably!
- What are you now you've grown up?
I am now Managing Director and co-owner of a family run jewellers in the West Country with retail shops in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
- What is your best memory of school?
Representing the school squash team ... captaining the colts, cricket and rugby teams.
- What was the best piece of advice you were given?
Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
- What does your job involve?
My job involves managing five jewellery shops and watch galleries, motivating and training members of staff, designing innovative fine diamond and gem pieces, purchasing ethically sourced diamonds and coloured gem stones from all over the world.
- What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Continuing to maintain the high standards of my Company, for which we are internationally renowned.
- What have you done that you are most proud of?
I am most proud of recently receiving an MBE for my services to sport from Prince Charles at my investiture on 29th February 2012.
- What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
An end to the pains in my joints (the result of sixty plus years of pounding on squash courts!!)
- What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
(1) my iphone with photos, memories and music
(2) the complete works of William Shakespeare (preferably in modern English), as it is incredibly fascinating how profound his understanding and knowledge of human nature was
(3) my squash racket and ball!!
- How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a good family man ... a fair and considerate boss ... someone who has contributed and made a difference to people in the community.