By Stanley Collymore
You were the true essence and the consummate embodiment
of everything that is good about Barbados; a genuine and
proud Bajan whose profound love for and unabashed
devotion was always unquestionably to your dear
Caribbean island home, and whose responsive
fellow inhabitants with an unconcealed and
unstinting pride coupled with the greatest
of affection specially reserved for you
affectionately enfolded you as their
adored native son and a richly deserving international
ambassador; and not only as the astute cricketing
commentating legend over five decades that
indisputably you were but likewise too as
the remarkably amazingly and forever
iconic Barbadian figure which you
have always been, and beyond
question will constantly and
enduringly remain in our
appreciative hearts and
our Tony Cozier!
© Stanley V. Collymore
13 June 2016.
There’s not a single person in the cricketing world either as a player or a staunch fan of this remarkable game who has not heard of Tony Cozier who has been commentating on our beloved sport for over five decades; and this is particularly true of every Barbadian, other West Indian and Guyanese for whom cricket is much more than a sport and more akin to being a religion. I grew up as a cricket aficionado myself listening to Tony Cozier’s astute and very informative commentaries on local Barbadian other Caribbean and, of course, international cricket, and the same can be said for many other Caribbeans and millions of others around the world in the well-known cricketing nations globally.
On a personal level I got to know Tony Cozier when we both worked as journalists at the Nation Newspaper in Barbados and I quickly discovered that this iconic figure at home in his native Barbados as well as globally was one of the most genuinely modest persons that anyone could ever hope to meet. His passing, just like that of Muhammad Ali has left me shell-shocked even though I knew he was dying of cancer; but for these two iconic deaths to come so soon upon each other and both men around the same age: Muhammad Ali 74 and Tony Cozier 75, is quite extraordinary.
But both men: one a Black African-American and the other a white native Barbadian have unquestionably left their distinctive legacies and specifically so to all those who loved and cared greatly for them. They will be sorely missed; and to my fellow Bajans: relatives, friends and sporting fans let’s remember Tony Cozier as we do Muhammad Ali, and as they’re both worthy of being remembered. They’re assuredly now in Heaven with their Creator and from us mere mortals still here let’s wish them eternal and celestial rest. Amen!