The debate for safety gear in ‘gentlemen’s game’ is once again likely to become the hot topic of discussion after an unfortunate incident occurred during a Division Two game between Pembroke and Narberth in Wales on July 13. However, this time the victim was not the player but an 80-year-old official, who succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Thursday.
According to a BBC Sport report, John Williams, 80, from Hundleton was struck on the head with a ball while he was officiating the Pembrokeshire County match. He was then flown to a hospital in Cardiff where he was placed in an induced coma. He was then transferred to another hospital in Haverfordwest on August 1 where he passed away two weeks later.
Pembrokeshire Cricket announced the news of the umpire’s death on their official Twitter handle. “Sad news this morning regarding umpire John Williams. John passed away this morning with his family at his bedside. Thoughts of all of Pembrokeshire Cricket are with Hilary and the boys at this difficult and sad time,” the club wrote.
Robert Simons from Narberth Cricket Club, who was the other umpire at the Pembroke-Narberth match, said: “He was a grand gentleman, truly a gent from a cricketing point of view, and he gave up a tremendous amount of his time for the sport.
“I mean, he was willing to officiate even in his 80th year.
“It’s very, very sad. The whole of Pembrokeshire cricket would say the same of him. There’s not many of them around. A marvellous chap.
“I was officiating as the other umpire… It was traumatic.”