Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tributes flow for Linton


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Even in death, George Linton couldn’t be separated from his one and true love – cricket.

The who’s who of cricket in Barbados piled past Linton’s body yesterday, as he lay in his casket with a cricket ball clutched to his chest, to commemorate the life of the former Barbados cricketer and coach during his funeral service at Dunamis Outreach Ministries, Staple Grove, Christ Church.

Former West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, veterans Sir Wes Hall, Cammie Smith and David Holford, former Barbados manager Jeff Broomes and national captain Kraigg Brathwaite, along with Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley and Director of Sport at the National Sports Council (NSC), Neil Murrell, and Magistrate Douglas Frederick were among the hundreds who were present to say their final goodbyes in the packed church.

There were also representatives from his former cricket clubs Yorkshire and Spartan, senior and junior cricketers, as well as workmates from the National Sports Council who turned out uniformed in grey shirts with a picture of Linton’s face printed on the front.

There were numerous tributes in word and song – so many were not able to be done during the allotted time of one hour.

Broomes, a good friend of Linton, referred to his former colleague as a passionate, friendly, caring and spiritual person who was passionate and committed to cricket, and with whom he shared great moments with.

“George was one of those people who gave more than he ever got,” he told those in attendance.

NSC coach Adrian Donovan, who worked closely with the former Barbados leg-spinner, remembered “Georgie,” as he was affectionately known, as someone who loved to work with children.

He said Linton especially looked forward to the start of the Herman Griffith Primary School Cricket Competition every year.

“The next couple of weeks would have signalled the best times of his life. Come September and October is when the Guardian Group’s sponsored primary school cricket competition is played. Georgie looked forward to these two months,” an emotional Donovan noted as he struggled to hold back tears.

And even though his close friend, former Barbados and West Indies opening batsman, Desmond Haynes was not in the island, a tribute was still delivered on his behalf.

There were also sterling tributes in song from Tanya Clarke and calypsonian Colin Spencer.

During the eulogy which was delivered by Keith Simmons, Linton was referred to as the “fun person in the family,” and a “mamma’s boy.”

He also painted a picture of a man who was a strict disciplinarian, especially as it related to cricket, who was not willing to tolerate bad behaviour or disrespect.

Pastor Carlos Brathwaite, in delivering the sermon, urged Linton’s family to continue to pray and look to God.

He assured them that although at times it may seem as though God wasn’t responding to their prayers, He was always listening.

“Today, family, God will hear your prayer in respect of George’s passing today . . . God has a will and a way, and the Bible says if we pray according to his will, then he will answer us,” Brathwaite revealed.

“Although you are going through the loss, have confidence in God . . . and accept the will of God.”


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