Monday’s Test Match Special featured a surprisingly moving three minutes of radio when commentator Jonathan Agnew read out a letter from a listener about his late father.
Peppered with cricket analogies, Patrick’s words about John Taylor, described his lifelong love of cricket and TMS, and his final days before he died aged 83 after battling a series of illnesses culminating in dementia.
I don’t know Patrick. But I’m thinking of him and his family this evening. Good job I read this ‘blind’. Wouldn’t have got through it otherwise pic.twitter.com/OBLucbKylE
— Jonathan Agnew (@Aggerscricket) August 20, 2018
Patrick wrote an incredibly moving account of his father’s last few hours and the positive reaction his dad had to listening to TMS in the hospital.
After being told John had 24 to 48 hours to live, and that he may not regain consciousness, Patrick’s wife had the idea to put the cricket on.
“After five minutes he opened his eyes and he was completely ‘in the room’ and aware of us,” wrote Patrick. “He was able to convey that he was comfortable, he was at peace and I was able to tell him what a wonderful father he is and just how much I love him.
“Not one comfortable with massive shows of emotion, after 15 minutes he requested that we listen to the cricket. For three hours we listened to Woakes crashing it about at Lords and making his maiden Test century.”
Patrick then added that they had a digital radio put into his room, and that he listened to TMS the next day. The letter concluded: “I don’t think that it is any coincidence that he passed peacefully just after England had sealed victory.”
— Adam Mountford (@tmsproducer) August 20, 2018
Aggers tweeted the audio clip saying: “I don’t know Patrick. But I’m thinking of him and his family this evening. Good job I read this ‘blind’. Wouldn’t have got through it otherwise.”
Patrick then appeared on 5 Live to talk further about what had happened.
“His eyes just opened completely wide and dad was struck down by dementia latterly in life but we’d have slippings of time when he was absolutely in the room,” he told the station. “And this was one of those times when he came completely back to us and I’m sure it was the TMS commentary that triggered that.
“I’m very thankful that I was able to say goodbye. We didn’t know whether he would regain consciousness and to be able to do that was obviously extremely important.”
Patrick also revealed that the Test Match Special team have sent a video for his father’s funeral.
“We would like it to be a celebration because he was a battler and they’ve responded fantastically which is what I’d expect from the obvious team spirit they’ve got between them,” said Patrick, who also spoke about the flood of messages online that fellow listeners had sent in.
“I didn’t get much sleep because it’s been a very cathartic experience for me and my brother and family and mum so I was reading them till late last night,” he said. “A little bit tearful some of them, but this is not meant to be something that’s tearful, it’s meant to be something that’s more joyful.”