Brian Close — I Am Sorry; What A MAN, But 84 Was Quite The Innings.
by Anura Guruge
Ain’t this the truth? What a GUY. One of my all time heroes.
Click here to access the U.K. “Daily Mail” tribute.
Yes, I saw this, LIVE, on TV in 1976 —
Close and Edrich at Old Trafford against Holding, Andy Roberts and Daniels.
I remember it well.
NOTE: NO Helmets. These were REAL men.
YouTube video of Brian Close getting peppered by Michael Holding, at Old Trafford, in 1976.
I watched this, IN AWE, live, on TV. I still remember it.
Now this was REAL cricket. NO helmets. Real men!
Given our difference in age I only saw him towards the end of his career.
But, of course, he was a legend. A giant. I saw him during the 1976 West Indies Test Series. That was a turning point in my life. I was 23 years old and was working for IBM — at Hursley in Hampshire. I belonged to Hampshire Cricket Club (as a non-playing member, of course) and for the first time in my life getting the chance to see a lot of professional cricket. Gordon Greenidge and Andy Roberts both played for Hampshire and I knew them. So the 1976 Test Series was big. I followed it avidly. Yes, I went to Lord’s for the Saturday of the Test. That became my ‘thing’. Saturday of the Lord’s Test Match. That ’76 Series was epic. Changed my life. That is when I really became addicted to cricket. I still have so many books about that series INCLUDING the big Bob Frindall’s Score Book.
This (->) is how I will always remember Brian. That is what he looked liked (mainly) in the mid-1970s. I saw him at Somerset and in Hampshire. In those days I watched Somerset, in Somerset, whenever I could. I spent many weekends in Bristol and Somerset was ‘next door’. So Brian is no stranger to me.
84, even by his standards, wasn’t a bad knock. So I can’t complain.
I will miss him. What a guy. They don’t make them like that anymore. When I see batsman ducking into the ball, as did Eoin Morgan on Sunday, it makes me so mad. Helmets have been the bane of cricket. Batsman think they can handle the short stuff because they have the protection. They NEVER saw Brian and John Edrich. Now that was cricket.
Thank YOU, Brian. That, as you must know, was quite the INNINGS. You will always be ‘Not Out’ in MY book.