Woolridge made commentary look effortless
Local cricket has lost a stalwart with the death of longtime commentator C.V. “Jim” Woolridge at the age of 92 yesterday.
The Bermuda Cricket Board has extended its condolences to the family and friends of “The Voice of Summer”, who spent more than 50 years as a commentator, covering the sport’s major matches such as Cup Match and the Eastern Counties Cup.
“Mr Woolridge is embedded in the culture and history of our game in so many ways and has touched the hearts of so many Bermudians and tourists over the years,” Lloyd Smith, the BCB president, said.
“His passion and love for the game and the ability to bring it to life in our homes and social spaces, was completely unrivalled.”
Woolridge was a wicket-keeper batsman for “The Mighty Flatts” and made his debut in the Eastern Counties competition aged 15.
In 2013 the BCB awarded him its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received an ICC Special Achievement Award.
Woolridge’s last commentary was in 2013 when he covered games for VSB with Sean Tucker, who has continued with the “The Voice of Summer” name.
This season “The Voice of Summer” switched to Hott 107.5, with Tucker and Jason Ford providing commentary.
“I had the privilege of working with Mr Woolridge since I was 15 years old,” Tucker said.
“I was still a student at Berkeley [Institute] and he called my parents to see if I would be interested in scoring with him.
“From that day I remember being in awe of the man, and for the next 30-plus years I would be in absolute amazement at how effortlessly he would be able to talk about a cricket game and at the same time describe the sights, the fashions, the sounds, the smells, the taste of the food.
“He was naturally gifted in something that the rest of us have to work very hard at, and he set the standard by which all cricket commentators in Bermuda are judged.
“Mr Woolridge was charismatic, smart and quick-witted — in fact absolutely hilarious!
Woolridge did commentary on just two matches in 2013 after injuring himself in a fall which forced him to miss Cup Match and Eastern Counties.
He never returned to the microphone.
He commentated his first match in the Sixties, an Eastern Counties tie at St David’s, from a classroom at St David’s Primary.
Woolridge was also influential in having Cup Match broadcast in its entirety over the airwaves.