Sunday, 29 June 2014

RIP Damien D'Oliveira

I GOT home from taking my wife to work to find Damien D’Oliveira, academy manager at Worcestershire CCC, had lost his two year battle with cancer.

Although it was clear Damien was ill, the news of his passing has come as a great shock and looking at the tributes on Twitter it’s clear it’s not just the cricketing world in mourning today.

From respected cricketing journalists like Edward Bevan and Steve James to the likes of Peter Oborne, the social medium was used to pay tribute to Damien and his family.

Son of the legendary England batsman Basil D’Oliveira, Damien’s own career never hit the international heights but he was a loyal county servant to Worcestershire.

And after hanging up his bat, ‘Dolly’ continued his and his family’s association with the county by becoming a coach and later academy manager at New Road.

I have no doubt there is a lot of sadness at New Road today as the Pears begin their match with Glamorgan.

All of the batsmen will walk to the wicket sad at Dolly’s passing, many will owe that walk to Damien’s work at the academy.

I was lucky enough to work as a journalist for the Worcester Standard for 15 months and during that time I was able to go to the club’s media day at New Road.

While there you could see how loved Dolly was by the players and staff such as coach Steve Rhodes and chief executive David Leatherdale.

You can’t be a journalist in the city without knowing how important the surname D’Oliveira is to the county, I was lucky to see it in action on the field first hand.

Basil’s grandson and Damien’s son is a fine leg spinner in the making and I hope his talent and the will of the cricketing gods combine to further Brett’s career.

Who knows, maybe the D’Oliveira name may once again grace and England team sheet?

My prayers and thoughts are with Damien’s family, friends and everyone associated with Worcestershire CCC.

RIP Damien, may you now be at peace



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