The death of ‘The Godfather of English cricket’ David English has provoked an outpouring of tributes from famous faces in both sporting and entertainment worlds. The Bunbury Cricket Club founder died at the age of 76 following a heart attack yesterday (November 12).
The England and Wales Cricket Board said: "The ECB is saddened to learn of the loss of David English CBE. He did so much for the game, and for charity, and he played a part in the rise of many England Men’s cricketers. Our thoughts at this time are with his friends and family."
Cricketer, actor, writer, journalist, charity fundraiser, and former president of a record label, English was a man of many talents. During his stint at RSO Records, he signed up the likes of Eric Clapton and his acting saw him appear in cinematic hits such as A Bridge Too Far.
However, he is most well known for the Bunbury Cricket Festival, receiving a CBE for his services to cricket and charity in 2010. The festival was first held in 1987 and was hosted by the likes of Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff and Joe Root with England Schools Under-15s teams competing. Combined with the club’s other philanthropic endeavours, it has raised £14 million for good causes over the years.
Leading the tributes were England T20 captain Jos Buttler and Piers Morgan. Buttler took to Twitter saying: "So sad to hear the news of David English passing away. One of life’s great characters, so fun to spend time with and producer of some of the best English cricketers through his wonderful Bunbury Festivals. RIP."
TV personality Morgan also Tweeted: "RIP David English. Had many of the funniest days of my life at Lord’s with this wonderfully ebullient and brilliantly entertaining character. A great cricket man whose Bunbury Cricket Festival developed so many England stars, who all loved him. Very sad news."
In response, football pundit Gary Lineker said: "Terribly sad news. Such a charismatic man." while the England Barmy Army account described him as "One of the most important figures in English cricket".
Why are England wearing black armbands?
As England and Pakistan went head-to-head this morning in the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup, the England side did so wearing black armbands to pay their respects to English. Players were also urged to win the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in his honour.
The team duly obliged, beating Pakistan by five wickets to claim second T20 world title. The win makes them the first men’s team to hold the 20-over and 50-over titles at the same time.