Jason Holder takes time out of Bermuda holiday to pay tribute to superfan Greg Maybury Sr
Jason Holder, the West Indies Test captain, paid a heart-warming tribute to one his biggest supporters who passed away before he had the opportunity to meet him.
Greg Maybury, the former Somerset Cricket Club and Somerset Bridge Recreation Club batsmen, died on New Year’s Day after a brief illness at the age of 65.
He was a passionate West Indies supporter throughout his life as well as a big fan of Holder, the Barbadian, who until recently was the world’s No 1-ranked Test all-rounder.
During a brief ceremony at Port Royal Golf Course, where Maybury served as general manager until the time of his death, and which was attended by his son, Greg Jr, and wife, Donna Harvey-Maybury, the West Indies player signed one of the late cricketer’s bats, which will be put on display at the Southampton facility.
“I never met him but to hear his passionate love for cricket is obviously heart- warming, and to see another adoring, diehard West Indies cricket fan is always pleasing for us personally as players,” Holder told The Royal Gazette.
“I got here a couple days ago and heard of his passing and I also heard he wanted to meet me. I’m obviously a little disappointed I didn’t get to meet him because he seems like a very passionate, bubbly personality.
“But may he rest in peace, and deepest condolences to him and his family.”
Harvey-Maybury said her husband kept close tabs on Holder’s exploits on the international cricket scene up until his death.
“Through my husband’s sickness, he was watching him [Holder] quite a bit on TV and commenting on his class as a cricketer and his class as a young man, so I was happy to tell him that,” she said.
“Greg was an extraordinary father and a great husband.
“He was highly regarded and you come to realise it as you’re looking on Port Royal’s Facebook and all the tributes that have been coming out.
“If you didn’t know what people thought of him before, those comments really do give you the essence of the man.”
Greg Jr, the Somerset Cup Match and Bermuda seam bowler, added: “My dad really admired Jason. My mom told him that as well on the spot how he would watch how he carried himself and how he has grown into an amazing player.
“I think he’s ranked one or two in the world as an all-rounder and as captain he’s showing I guess, not just the skill set, but the ability to carry himself and the leadership as well.
“Dad was a big West Indies fan and felt all the ups and down of the team for sure, and back in the day the whole family would’ve gone down to watch Test matches.”
As for Holder’s kind gesture, Maybury said: “First of all, thanks to Jason and thanks to Stevie [Port Royal assistant general manager Steven Lambert Jr] for setting that up.
“It came out of the blue and I ran around the house and grabbed dad’s old bats. The one that Port Royal is going to keep is the one he used most recently. The one we’re going to keep is actually one that his father [Kenny Maybury] gave him when he was 14, so that was special to him and also special to the family.
“It was great to meet him [Holder] and obviously would’ve preferred under different circumstances.
“It was great to meet him and I’m grateful for him to come along and sign and take pictures with us, which is very appreciated.”
Greg Sr started his cricket career at Somerset and was a 15-year-old reserve for the then challengers in the first Cup Match played on turf, which the West Enders hosted in 1971.
He also had a stint at Somerset Bridge later in his career.
“Greg was a right-hand early-order batsman, very stylish and had a lot of good potential about him,” Joe Bailey, the former Somerset captain, recalled.
“He was a very nice guy and I got along good with him.”
Holder, meanwhile, is on island enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation after West Indies’ 2-0 Test series defeat in New Zealand last month.
“It’s always great to be here, it’s a beautiful place,” he said.
“It’s somewhere I really come to have some down time, relax and I enjoy the sights. Play a little bit of golf obviously because I love golf and just relax.
“It’s just a wonderful island, the people are really friendly and always happy to be here.“