It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of the Australian cricket commentator Richie Benaud at the age of 84. Richie and his wife Daphne have been great friends of Brian Johnston and all of the Johnston family for more than fifty years.
They first got to know each other during the 1958/59 Ashes series in Australia, when Brian was BBC cricket correspondent and Richie was the new Australian captain. After Richie retired in 1964, he joined the BBC TV commentary team and he worked alongside Brian in the commentary box for six years. They became good friends, although they had opposing views about the Kerry Packer affair, so they agreed never to talk about it. Later, Brian’s daughter Clare ran Richie’s London office for many years. After Brian died in 1994, Richie Benaud was one of the founding vice-patrons of the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust.
Richie was a great cricketer, a brilliant commentator, and a truly wonderful man. It was a pleasure to have known him and he will be sadly missed by all of us.