One of Jamaica’s well respected retired cricket umpires, John Richard Gayle, has passed away.
Gayle made his transition peacefully at home on September 15 in the presence of family members.
He was 96 years old.
Affectionately called Johnny, his involvement with sports as a cricketer began at Highgate in St Mary in 1953 while sharing his agricultural duties at the Orange River Agricultural Station. At first cricket was a weekend past time, and he became a member of the Highgate Cricket Team.
His desire to remain in close contact with the game he loved from he was a youth, saw him successfully passing the written examination set by the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association in 1964, the first umpiring organisation to require recruits to pass a written test before they could officiate in a match. As expected, he did not confine his service to the field of play as he was deeply involved in administration and training of recruits.
His commitment to the game as an umpire since 1964 and as an administrator from 1970 to 2004 was exemplary.
His contribution to the sport was recognised by the Government of Jamaica, when he was conferred with the Order of Distinction in 2000.
In 1952, Gayle married Marjorie Jefferson, who passed away in 2019 after 67 years of marriage. He was the proud father of three children.