Cricket and the Cricket Writers’ Club have lost one of their truest supporters, greatest friends, finest journalists and wisest counsels with the death of Tony Becca at the age of 78.
Tony, who died in hospital in Kingston, Jamaica, last Thursday, was a former cricket correspondent and, for many years, sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner. He was a past president of the famous Melbourne Cricket Club (the club of Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh among others) and he was proud to be an overseas member of the CWC.
I first met him in 1975 when we were covering the West Indies tour of Australia - Tony for the Gleaner, me for the Daily Express - and we forged a friendship that endured for 44 years.
We had a shared love of the game but, more than that, I respected his views and he at least listened to mine over many happy hours in pavilions from Lord’s to Sabina Park, from the bar at Melbourne Cricket Club to my local pub in Surrey, from his home to mine.
I spoke to him only a few weeks ago and we said we would talk again after the England tour. Sadly that will not happen now and I have sent my condolences and those of the CWC to his wife, Celia and the family, and his friends in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.