Bridgetown, Barbados, May 31 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Former Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) top division cricketer and umpire Evan Goddard, who also distinguished himself as a national darts player, has died at the age of 77.
An imposing and affable six-footer, who played as a seam bowler for Young Men’s Progressive Club (YMPC) as well as Windward Club, Goddard has been described by former club-mate and ex-BCA Chief Executive Officer Rollins Howard as “a committed club member, who contributed much to club life and activities”.
BCA president Conde Riley, who had the privilege of playing against Goddard while a student at Combermere School in the 1960s, described him as a person who “gave advice”.
And former Barbados captain and West Indies middle order batsman Roland Holder, who is now Senior Manager, Cricket Operations at Cricket West Indies, recalled a wonderful gift of a bat from Goddard after he scored two half-centuries in the same match in the Intermediate division for Combermere against Windward 38 years ago.
Affectionately called “Sickle”, Goddard was educated at The Lodge School, which he represented at cricket and football.
After leaving the Society, St. John school, Goddard played for telecommunications giant Cable & Wireless in cricket and football as well.
He then joined YMPC, based at Beckles Road, St. Michael, and continued to play both sports, standing out in cricket.
“Evan was fairly formidable with the new ball,” Howard, himself a former YMPC cricketer and key administrator after leaving Harrison College, told the BCA website.
“For several years he was vice-captain of the cricket team and was Club secretary from about 1969 to 1975. He was a member of the YMPC team which won the Intermediate Division and regained promotion to the First Division. He was a committed Club member and contributed much to club life and activities,” Howard added.
In his later years, Goddard joined Windward Cricket Club at Lucas Street, St. Philip - a short distance from where he resided at Beulah - and shared the new ball with another big, strapping fast bowler in left-armer Hensley Robinson, who like Goddard, also served as a noted local umpire.
“After he hung up his boots, Evan joined the Barbados Cricket Umpires’ Association and was a very competent official,” said Howard, who also worked as Business Manager and Cricket Operations Manager, apart from being the CEO at the BCA before retiring a few years ago.
Howard, now a prolific letter writer to local newspapers on a wide range of topics and brother of former Barbados and West Indies off-spinner Tony Howard, also recalled Goddard’s career as a darts player and administrator.
“Evan was a very good darts player and played for Reddy Light, one of the teams of Barbados Light & Power where he worked. He was the first player from BL&P to represent Barbados in regional competition. He was also a long-serving President of the Barbados Darts Association,” Rollins Howard further told BCAcricket.org.
In his tribute, Riley said: “I first met Evan when I played for Combermere in the late 1960s. He was a big man, probably 6ft 5ins or taller.
“He opened the bowling and got steep bounce but was very friendly and affable. After each day’s play he would talk to us about the day’s play and give advice etc.
“I next met Evan when I captained the Barclays Division 1 darts team and he captained the Seaview Virginians. Competition between these teams was very keen as both teams boasted a number of national players,” recalled Riley, who also played cricket for the once powerful Barclays Intermediate division team, as a batsman.
“I also served as treasurer of the Barbados Darts Association for two years when Evan was the President.
“To his wife Patricia and his children I take this opportunity to offer sincerest condolences on behalf of myself and the BCA membership.”
Holder spoke highly of Goddard’s kindness.
“My earliest recollection of Evan was in 1983 when as a 15-year-old Combermere Intermediate player, we played against Windward. I was able to get two half-centuries in that game, which I believe got me promoted to the First Division Combined Schools side,” said Holder, who in fact played five Division 1 matches that season.
“However, during my run-scoring innings in that match, I used a teacher’s Gray Nicholls bat and in both innings when that teacher came to bat I had to return his bat and use another. I thought nothing of it as it was what I was accustomed doing.
“Evan turned up at Combermere school shortly after that and presented me with a Slazenger bat, no fanfare, no speech, just a gift of a bat …. My first solely owned of a bat. I’ve never forgotten that gesture and always thanked him whenever I saw him,” recalled Holder, who became captain of Combined Schools in 1986 and eventually one of the most prolific batsmen in the history of the BCA top division Competition.
"May he rest in Peace."
Goddard also played for BL&P in the once popular Barbados Garages Cricket Competition.
A deeply religious man, who later became Apostle Reverend Evan Goddard, he was a former Human Resources Advisor of the BL&P Company and founder of Love Gospel Assembly Beulah.
Goddard, who died on May 13, leaves to mourn his wife, Reverend Patricia Goddard, four children - Hazel Grainger, Celia Griffith, Prophet Rev. Julia Best and Terrance Clarke - as well as ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A service of celebration and thanksgiving will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 2:30 p.m. There will be live streaming at www.lyndhurstfuneralhome.com/events/evan-goddard.
Goddard’s body will repose in the Colin Parkinson Memorial Chapel, Lyndhurst Funeral Home on Wednesday from 4.00 to 6.00 p.m.