Week 253 (18 - 24 August 2018)
This week on Test Match Special, during day three of the third Test at Trent Bridge, cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew read out live on-air an emotional letter from ardent cricket fan Patrick Taylor, which highlighted sport’s ability to unite families.
Patrick Taylor’s quip-filled letter to TMS about his late father’s dedication and love for cricket and TMS captured the attention of BBC Radio 5 listeners.
The letter described the late John Taylor, a retired pharmacist, father-of-two, life-long cricket fan, sportsman and TMS listener as a true gentleman who had sadly been struck down with dementia later in life.
Patrick managed to communicate, through the joint love of cricket and TMS, how his family have been able to share a bond throughout three generations. Patrick, his father and grandfather, who was blind, have shared their enjoyment of listening to the show together over the years.
John had dealt with “a beamer in the form of leukaemia, the Yorker of muscular dystrophy, the googly of Parkinson’s, the reverse swing of diabetes, and latterly was struck down by the vicious bouncer of dementia”. Despite the bad hand he had been dealt, John “squeezed every last drop out of life”.
On 9 August, John was admitted into hospital with a chest infection; he fell unconscious and doctors feared the worst. When Patrick went to visit his father in hospital knowing he had been given only 24 to 48 hours to live, he turned on TMS on his mobile phone. Within five minutes, his father had “opened his eyes and was completely ‘in the room’ and aware of us”. John sadly passed away at the age of 83 on 12 August, with Patrick stating: “I don’t think that it is any coincidence that he passed peacefully just after England had sealed victory”. Patrick thanked TMS through the heart-warming letter, as the show allowed him to say goodbye to his father properly.
Patrick, an avid listener of the programme, emailed TMS telling them about his father, who, “unlike the current England batting line-up, dug in and battled doggedly to reach 83” then “left the field of play”.
The content of this emotional letter, describing what his beloved sport had done for him and his family, makes Patrick Taylor the JTA Communicator of the Week.
Photo: John Taylor, Patrick Taylor’s father