Today 27 years ago during the Centenary Test, John Arlott hung up his vocal cords for the last time.
As the rain-hit Centenary Test petered out at Lord's, Australia's Kim Hughes became only the third man to bat on all five days of a Test match. He made 117 and 84. But the day was probably more memorable for John Arlott's final stint behind the microphone. As the famous commentator ended his long career with the BBC's Test Match Special, play stopped as the whole ground stood to applaud him.
His voice is the one that I most associated with cricket commentary, although Richie Benaud comes close. He was television and John Arlott was radio. When I grew up, cricket was on crackly Radio Three, which I used to listen to on the large cabinet radio, having to retune slightly very regularly as the signal came and went.
John Arlott was a master of using silence to make his point. He was never as excitable and toffy as Henry Blofeld. My wife made me turn off the radio when he was commentating during the 2005 Ashes. Too grating for an Aussie ear.
Somewhat different from this gentleman, who is the one I associate with Rugby commentary from when I was growing up. I doubt that even John Arlott could have found a way to string an octopus and multiple haggises into one sentence.