2020-05-24 - 06:31:44 SPORTS |
BERMUDA LOSES ANOTHER SPORTING GREAT WITH THE PASSING OF SHELDON (RED) FURBERT
The Island recently lost a preeminent sporting great with the passing of former Cup Match cricketer and well known club administrator Sheldon (Red) Furbert at the age of 76.
Furbert, who appeared in the mid-summer Classic on multiple occasion for St. George’s as well as for Bermuda among the 60’s and 70’s, excelled in most all sports and game activities he attempted, including playing football at both North Village and Hamilton Parish, softball, table tennis, billiards, snooker, pool, card games but it was as a cricketer where he left the most indelible mark.
As an early order batsman Furbert was the scourge of many bowlers as he consistently proved himself a tough out with a near unmatched scoring prowess that consistently decorated scoreboards both locally and internationally.
Along with former Pakistani international, Intikhab Alam, Furbert won the inaugural double-wicket competition which included West Indies’ greatest ever player Sir Garfield Sobers. Intikhab was Pakistan's first One Day International cricket captain and at the time noted the great ability demonstrated by Furbert with both bat and ball.
“Sheldon Furbert was a fine product of church, family, school and community,” said close friend Wally Manders, himself a former cricketer and more recently an umpire. “He was a proud alumnus of the Technical Institute, a trained motor mechanic, a strong, intelligent, astute individual and a superb athlete.”
“He was certainly not one dimensional because he also had great administrative skills that led him to positions in various organisations including secretary of Hamilton Parish Workman’s Club, secretary of Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club, committee member of Somers Isle Cricket League and Eastern Counties Cricket Association where he truly made a difference in helping with the prior success of those institutions.
“Ironically, despite no doubt warranting a position on the field, he never played in the Eastern Counties Cup competition but this was not due to his ability but because of the boundary legislation that made him ineligible based on where he lived.
“He was a hard hitting early to middle order batsman in the mold of Sir Vivian Richards, a medium-fast right-arm bowler and superb fielder with an exceptional arm _ both strong and accurate.”
As vice-captain of a young Hamilton Parish team Furbert toured Jamaica in 1965, he acted as captain for the club as well and among years encompassing 1969 to 1977 appeared in Cup Match for St. George’s with a top score off 85. In 2008 Furbert was recognized by the Heritage Committee for his contribution to cricket.
“Sheldon Furbert was a true, upright and gracious man who gave a lot to the community of cricket, one who will be missed by family, friend and fellow and former cricketers as well as members of Hamilton Parish,” concluded Manders.
Likewise, former Hamilton Parish club president Alan Smith was saddened by the loss and noted Furbert as a great cricketer but even greater person.
“Sheldon scored a lot of runs … I mean a lot of runs,” said Smith. “He could really bat and he loved to bat long and there were many seasons that he was in the top five for runs scored in the league.”
“Sheldon was an inspiration to young players and was one who knew how to build an innings. He wasn’t flashy or a risky bastmen early on, rather he grafted early and when he got into the 30s and onward he would accelerate and cause chaos to the opposition bowlers.
“He often came in at three or four so he knew how to consolidate before moving on, he was an intelligent player who was always aware of the situation and what it called for. He scored a lot of centuries, obviously more half-centuries and was a truly class all-rounder and person in in general.
“I spent a lot of time with him in recent times when he was sick, taking him to and from dialysis and appointments, but he was always upbeat, a really nice person and great to be around.” Furbert was predeceased by wife Lynn Furbert and was father to nine children including Shay Furbert and Carlos Talbot, Shelita White, Gina Clarke, Shawna and Charla Furbert, Shelita and Camisha Talbot and Shelkira Abdul-Malik.
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