HEADLINE: Remembering Tony Becca

link CaribbeanCricket.com Joined: Mar 6, 2003
Posts: 9995
3/15/19 11:47:40 PM 

From Michelle McDonald's Cricket Interviews

The news came to me via a WhatsApp from a Jamaican friend on Thursday February 28, 2019 at 8:57 a.m. Grenada time. “Mawnin. Heard that Tony Becca died,” she messaged. “Oh!” I replied in dismay, and immediately set about verifying the information, then sharing the unfortunate news with my family. Still in shock and disbelief, especially after reading about the details surrounding his death, I set about searching through my past email correspondence with Mr Becca, ‘the other Tony,’ to find content to pen this article.

I wish I didn’t have to be writing another remembrance at what seems like too soon after Tony Cozier departed this life. I wished too, that I could turn back time. You see, while the English and West Indian batsmen were scoring runs like crazy during the 4th One Day International in Grenada the day before his passing, I had thought to myself “I wonder if Mr Becca is watching?” Perhaps his article to have been published on Sunday March 3 would have been about that match http://www.cricketinterviews.com/grenada-thanks-chris-gayle/. For over 15 years, we’d periodically discuss West Indies cricket, particularly the state of performances at the regional and international cricket.

I had first met Mr Becca during my initial assignment for CaribbeanCricket.com in 2003 at Sabina Park. We did not speak much that year. Still a little daunted by being in the company of such great famous journalists like him and Tony Cozier, I had pretty much kept quiet, choosing to observe more than I spoke. This could also describe Mr Becca’s disposition in the press box over the years. In the early years of our association, he was still doing reports which required him to watch all of a match. On the contrary, I was in and out of the press box often.

The first recollection of me interviewing Mr Becca was in March 2005, after then President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Teddy Griffith announced during a broadcast that those players with Cable & Wireless contracts would not be eligible to play in the forthcoming series. I was required to get reactions from key people. Of course, Mr Becca was one of those who I sought an opinion from.

My assignments for CaribbeanCricket.com mostly required doing one-on-one interviews with players and other persons involved in West Indies cricket. It was therefore necessary for me to attend as many matches as possible, including those played during regional tournaments. In 2005, I decided to go to rural Jamaica on the weekends of March 11 and March 18 to cover matches to be played at the Alpart Sports Complex in St Elizabeth. Mr Becca also travelled down for those matches.


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link Yamfoot Joined: Feb 9, 2003
Posts: 13439
3/16/19 1:25:07 PM 
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In reply to CaribbeanCricket.com

As promised, I have spent the entire morning and early afternoon in bed, reflecting as Tony Becca is being laid to rest. I am still sad.

link sgtdjones Joined: Feb 16, 2017
Posts: 12443
3/16/19 1:56:56 PM 
In reply to Yamfoot

I went to two funerals in the last month, a couple known to
my family for over 30 years.

Marylyn passed away at 83 years old.
Harry would pass away 4 weeks later he was in his 90"s

They both had excellent lives.

Harry, an Ice hockey player in the original 6 National Hockey League. Was a star on the New York Rangers and coached a few teams in that league. A tough stay at home defenceman. Even became General Manager.

As I sat in the Church, awed by so many of the greatest Players and Coaches, the World has ever seen slowly filing in and having a seat, I was humbled. Sportswriters wrote about him in glowing terms in Newspapers. I remembered Harry describing in his quiet sombre voice, I enjoyed the game, it was my life, as we chatted at his cottage at sunset.

His friends spoke about him from the pulpit, not of sadness but what he meant to the game, now lost forever. Both ceremonies left me feeling not sad but happy to have known them.

You see, it is just as Becca's life, cricket was a major part of his life, plus his writings and those he helped.
If he had anything to do with making you a better person or a writer or knowledge of the game. He left something with you to build on. It is not the time to be sad, cherish the moments spent together, you were one of the lucky ones.
Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

Remember his smile, sense of humour, not sadness.
It is what he would have wanted.

"That it will never come again, is what makes life so sweet".
Emily Dickinson

link Yamfoot Joined: Feb 9, 2003
Posts: 13439
3/16/19 2:59:35 PM 
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In reply to sgtdjones

Thanks!

link Yamfoot Joined: Feb 9, 2003
Posts: 13439
3/17/19 6:53:46 PM 
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Here is Garfield Myers’s tribute to Mr Becca.


In these sentences....

As a writer for the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) and then the Jamaica Observer, I sat beside Becca for much of the 1990s and the early 2000s at cricket grounds across Jamaica.


I was part of the press “box” from 2004-ish to 2005. At Alpart, which I mentioned in my tribute, it would be Garfield, Mr Becca, Simon Crosskill and Neville Bell covering regional matches. There would be the RJR technical guy too. Perhaps there were other commentators too, such as Hendy Wallace and Andrew Mason.

Alpart was a lovely place to watch cricket. I also recall going to Discovery Bay too. That’s where I interviewed Xavier Marshall’s mom and coach.

I would not only go to regional games, but also to club games. And Mr Becca would usually be there.

link camos Joined: May 6, 2003
Posts: 47882
3/17/19 7:05:46 PM 
In reply to Yamfoot

was a big fan of Becca when he was at Daily News,can still remember him talking about Freddo's 169,was introduced to him at a game in NJ some years back and we spent about 6 hours that day drinking and talking about cricket.

link Yamfoot Joined: Feb 9, 2003
Posts: 13439
3/17/19 7:21:42 PM 
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In reply to camos

Drinking Red Stripe?

link camos Joined: May 6, 2003
Posts: 47882
3/17/19 7:48:35 PM 
In reply to Yamfoot

the green stuff( Heineken), long before they bought Red Stripe!

link Yamfoot Joined: Feb 9, 2003
Posts: 13439
3/18/19 8:14:41 AM 
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In reply to camos

Ok

link alfa1975 Joined: Sep 15, 2007
Posts: 361
3/19/19 2:01:58 AM 
In reply to camos And prior to that D&G (Red Stripe) was brewing Heineken under license.

link alfa1975 Joined: Sep 15, 2007
Posts: 361
3/19/19 2:25:53 AM 
In reply to camos You met him that late?

I first met Becca at Melbourne (CAC), Derrymore Road in 1972, prior to the Daily News coming into existence.I was a member at Melbourne between 1972 and 1986.
One memory that sticks out was at Melbourne.Senior Cup games ran for 3 days-Saturday,then Saturday and Sunday.There was a balcony on top of the changing rooms, if my memory holds,that had 2 or 3 benches.And that's where George Headley would sit every Saturday afternoon and the watch the game, and Becca would go over to him and basically try to pick his mouth.My recollection is that George Headley did not talk very much. He would just watch the game.

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