Jonathan Agnew read out a very special letter from a long-time listener, leaving listeners in floods
Test Match Special is one of the great broadcasting institutions of the UK. It’s as British as queueing, checking the weather and, well, cricket. It’s so brilliant that even if you don’t like cricket, it’s worth a listen, as the genial commentators regularly wander off-topic to discuss more pressing issues such as cakes, formations of birds flying overhead and all manner of issues of the day, in between occasionally describing the action, or lack of it.
And the TMS team were given an insight into just how valued and appreciated their work is when they were sent a letter by Patrick Taylor, whose father John, a pharmacist and cricket fan, had recently passed away after a long battle with severe illness.
Jonathan Agnew read the letter, having been handed it by the TMS producers during coverage of the third day’s play of the Test Match between England and India at Trent Bridge, and, really, no words can describe the story better than Patrick’s - so stop what you’re doing and watch this clip:
Truly, truly beautiful.
The match in question, which played as John passed away, saw England beat India at Lord’s, aided by a maiden Test Match century for all-rounder Chris Woakes, who finished on 137 not out, putting them 2-0 up in the five-match series.
TMS producer Adam Mountford shared an image of the letter on Twitter:
Meanwhile, Jonathan Agnew said that he was thinking of Patrick and his family:
Listeners were quick to share just how much the story had affected them:
I think Patrick has reminded us that we forget to say "I love you" to the people that matter. 3 words that mean the world, especially to a parent who doesn't get to hear it very often— Ingrid (@gridders100) August 20, 2018
While others shared stories of just how much TMS, which has been on air since 1957, means to them:
My dad died in an accident in April & this summer was the first in nearly 40 years where TMS wasn't a fixture in the family home. I sat with my mum yesterday&turned it back on, sharing a sad but reminiscent smile. Just as the collapse began. My dad would've chuckled at the irony— Alice Lowry (@MaliceLowry) August 20, 2018
Too much, I'm crying here! Well played that man, RIP. TMS means so much to so many. Whether it is staying up until 7am to listen to us win in the Karachi gloom, or cursing at the shipping forecast. We love you.— The Uber Oubliette (@Matt_Smith_Hux) August 20, 2018
Of course, TMS doesn’t just do sad - it’s just over a year since they pulled off one of the greatest wind-ups ever, Aggers expertly taking Sir Geoffrey Boycott for a wild ride:
And that balance of humour, irreverence, expert opinion, and moving moments is why it’s one of the greatest broadcasting institutions in the world.
Long may it continue.