Sunday night rolls around. I’ve just been out to the shop for some milk and chocolate, Mrs C tells me Arnie phoned. Unusual for ‘el Presidente’ to call so late on an out of season Sunday.
I return the call and am rocked to my core. Seems Skinny, holidaying in Turkey has died. No details, just conjecture. One of the team heard it form someone who heard it from someone. Arnie has phoned the Australian Consulate in Istanbul and it’s been confirmed apparently.
Shocking news. I’m not claiming to be big mates with Skinny, but I’ve known him since he came over to play for us, 3/4 years ago. He was a superb team mate. Cracking bat, one of the best keepers I’ve bowled to and always there with an encouraging word or a geeing up cry of “red hot”.
Our paths crossed less frequently this past couple of seasons as we tendedto be playing in differents sides now, and if I’m totally honest, I can’t remember the last thing I said to him, or the last time we spoke, and this bothers me in a way I wouldn’t have expected to. Maybe that old cliche about living for the now, never leaving things unsaid etc comes into play.
Wherever you are Skindog, rest in peace, and may your God go with you.
As a club, we seem to have had more than our fair share of deaths over the last five years or so. We lost our president at the time, and scorer extraordinaire Geoff out of the blue. Not long after the legend that was Big Frank, admittedly not so unexpectedly, but he was the soul of the club. Always on hand with a compliment, an encouraging word and his cheerful outlook.
Old Maurice followed the next year. No one was really sure how old he was, but he’d been there at the Grange when Bradman had played there in 1948. Maurice could was there every home game, always impeccably mannered and impeccably dressed.
More was to follow when Tris departed. Not long out of university, he’d just started a job in the House of Commons. We’d watched him come through as a junior, graduating to the senior ranks. His leg spinners and batting improving each year. His banter missed on the field. Killed in a road accident in Japan.
Skinny becomes the latest of our casualties, taken far too early.
Gents, as ever, next season is for you.