Tony Becca (GP)
KINGSTON – Veteran sports journalist Tony Becca died in hospital early Thursday.
Becca, who was best known for his expertise in cricket, was being treated in hospital for the mosquito borne dengue fever and reportedly developed complications.
For many years, he was the sports editor with the Gleaner Company and in October, 2005, Becca was one of the Caribbean’s top sports writers to be inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame in Hartford, Connecticut for his outstanding contribution to the development of the sport in the United States.
Following news of his death, leader of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Dr Peter Phillips expressed sadness at his passing.
“Tony Becca was a giant of Jamaican sports journalism. We shared a love of cricket and this, over many years, solidified our friendship. His passion for and reportage of sport, in particular cricket in Jamaica and the region elevated many Jamaican and indeed West Indies players unto the world stage. He saw Caribbean sports as a large extension of who we are as a people and he believed that our sports on the world stage was a powerful declaration of nationhood and independence,” Phillips recalled.
He said Becca was not only recognised regionally as the expert in his field, but also commanded global respect based on the extent of his knowledge, the reliability of his reports and the range of his experience.
“Becca’s body of work exemplifies his excellent standard of sport journalism. He was always willing and ready to share what he knew. His good nature and engaging disposition will be missed,” the Opposition leader said.
The West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) also extended their regards on the passing of veteran cricket journalist Tony Becca.
“The WIPA family would like to express deepest sympathies to Becca’s family and friends and to salute a true cricket enthusiast who has covered cricket for over 45 years. We are extremely grateful for his contribution to cricket as well as his many words of encouragement and advice,” the organisation said in a statement.
WIPA President and CEO Wavell Hinds said: “We are all very saddened by this news and we extend our prayers and wishes for strength to Mr. Becca’s family and the entire cricket fraternity at this challenging time. Becca’s love and passion for cricket and sports in general, a love and passion shared by the people of the West Indies, will certainly be missed; may his soul rest in peace.” (CMC/PR)