A Tribute to John Dighton

It was with deep sadness that I heard the news of the untimely passing of John Dighton late on Wednesday 4 April.

John had been a friend and colleague since 2011 when I first met him as a Sunshine Coast Cricket Umpire at the Maroochydore Cricket Club. I was the Sunshine Coast Cricket President and the President of Qld Veterans Cricket at that time.

John and I soon realised that we had much in common.......a great love of Cricket, lengthy careers in Education, which particularly involved the coaching and mentoring of secondary school students and we were both surrounded by understanding and supportive families.

I invited John to join the Sunshine Coast Veterans at cricket training at Maroochydore in 2011 and he became a regular participant at our Tuesday training and our cricket matches to the very end. One of our fittest and fastest players, John always had a cheeky smile and a few words of encouragement for everyone. He often starred with his commentary at our ‘warm down’ sessions held at the club canteen over a soft drink or cold beer.

A little over two weeks ago John travelled with the Qld Veterans teams to play our annual challenge matches against NSW in Coffs Harbour. As usual John was in his element. I remember speaking with him at the Meet and Greet held at the Coffs Yacht Club in the company of his Australian Touring Captain, Stirling Hamman. He was so happy reflecting on the happenings of that NZ tour. He had also toured with the Australians to England in 2012.

John loved to talk about the nuances of the game......how he had the ball swinging, where he was trying to bowl or how he had batted in a recent match. He could remember every run he scored, every ball he bowled, and how far he had run to chase every ball in the field.... in fact I am sure he is affectionately known in cricket parlance as a cricket tragic!!!!

John will be sadly missed by his cricketing friends for his good humour, gentle manner and sporting conduct. It is with a touch of irony that Saturday 7 March marks the commencement of the Qld Veterans Regional Cricket Competition, a day on which he could have been playing cricket. Some matches are being postponed as a mark of respect.

John, I am sure that you will be looking on with great interest from your heavenly abode.

Kerry Emery, OAM

Past President, Qld Veterans Cricket

President, Veterans Cricket Australia.

05 April 2018.