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Tribute to the Bearded Wonder

Adam Mountford | 17:07 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

Bill Frindall spent his working life chronicling the achievements of some of the greats of the cricketing world.

But although debates rage about whether Lara was a better batsman than Tendulkar or Warne a better bowler than Muralitharan, in the field of cricket scoring there is no doubt about who is the number one.

Dubbed "the Bearded Wonder" by Brian Johnston, Bill scored 377 Test Matches since making his Test Match Special debut in 1966 and was the longest serving member of the TMS team.

Bill Frindall in the commentary box 1997

As a youngster, I remember buying copies of Bill's immaculately compiled scorecards of great matches and it was a real thrill to see the great man actually writing down the figures during a Test match.

Whenever we had a celebrity guest in the commentary box it was amazing how excited they were to see Bill's famous scoring books in the corner. He was famous for his ability to research the most obscure cricketing facts, but he was also the man to consult if there was ever any doubt about a detail.

When Graeme Swann took two wickets in his first over in Test cricket in Chennai in December, it was widely reported that this was the first time such a feat had been recorded in Test history.

But Bill told the commentators to hang on for a few seconds - and from his pile of books he quickly discovered another occasion. Nothing in cricket was historic until Bill said so.

He was quite simply the world's most famous cricket scorer and whenever you travelled abroad with Bill you became aware of his celebrity status. In what sadly will be his final Test as TMS scorer in Mohali in December, he was approached by an Indian statistician who, on his mobile phone, had recordings of Bill jovially correcting commentators who had made an error.

Bill was a enthusiastic cricketer himself, who was still displaying his fast bowling prowess as recently as last summer. He also worked as president of British Blind Sport and was a tireless supporter of other charities like the Lord's Taverners and the Primary club.

He was rewarded with an MBE for his services to cricket in 2004, but was equally as proud when voted 'beard of the year' by the Beard Liberation Front.

It is difficult to imagine arriving at the media centre at Lords at the start of next summer and not hearing the sound of the Bill's trolley loaded with books trundling along the corridor ready to start another day.

He will be very sadly missed by the listeners of Test Match Special and, of course, by his colleagues in the team.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I'm sitting at work crying... Like a lot of other people... Goodbye "Bearders".

    We miss you already.

    Stfe

  • Comment number 2.

    Can't believe I will never hear him again, TMS will never quite be the same.

    My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time

    Sarah

  • Comment number 3.

    What will Blowers do without him. :(

    Gutted.

    Rob.

  • Comment number 4.

    Bearders was a major part of my life for most it. With all due respect to those that follow, nothing will ever be quite the same. I wonder if Simon Mann remembers, as I do, the time he spilt his drink over Bearders' score book....?

  • Comment number 5.

    "Its amazing what can be achieved if no one cares who gets the credit". Bill had all the knowledge but looked for no personal credit. Terrific example. Great guy.
    Thanks Bill

  • Comment number 6.

    May I offer my deepest sympathy to all family and friends.

    Bill is a great loss to the worlds of cricket and radio broadcasting. Something will be missing from the summer.

  • Comment number 7.

    great guy, funny and a top servant for cricket. i was shocked that he died so quickly, i thought he had been well i mean he did cover last yrs india's tests. What happened? Will be sorely missed

    RIP Bill m8

  • Comment number 8.

    I am most upset to hear this news, I hope that Bill rests in peace and is up there scoring with a heavenly test match featuring all the greats with Johnners as commentator.

  • Comment number 9.

    its shocking news.. i love everything about the man, all those stats and as a kid i used to double check my wisden just to make sure bill was correct. everything today has been bad news rest in peace bill.

  • Comment number 10.

    It has been such a privilege to share your wisdom - thank you Bill - and thanks to your family for sharing you with us.

  • Comment number 11.

    Devastating news.
    69 is 'young' these days.

    I still have your e-mails (on 'stat' matters).

    Who will continue the great work on Cricket Archive?

    :-(

  • Comment number 12.

    A great sadness and a great lost to the team and to all cricket lovers.

    Rest in peace

  • Comment number 13.

    Dear Bill, what will we do without you?

    Grumpy, funny, entertaining and above all, knowledgeable.

    The backbone of the team.

    Condolences to his family.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm absolutely speechless after hearing the awful news of Bill's death. I felt I had to come here in order to pay my respects to a great man, a great broadcaster and a great innovator.

    My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

  • Comment number 15.

    I was absolutely stunned to learn of Bill Frindall's death. He was so much a part of my cricket listening for so long (believe me for so long!). He was just magic.

    My condolences to his family, his friends and to all the TMS team who must be in pieces in the West Indies.

    We will all miss him and his amazing memory/ability to find facts at the drop of a hat.

  • Comment number 16.

    I can't believe it. I know that he had reduced his commitments somewhat, but it was impossible to believe that he might leave us. I set him a poser in his last column that I had hoped was actually good enough to get the great man's attention.

    Just as TMS lost so much when Johnners left, can it ever be the same without the Bearded Wonder?

  • Comment number 17.

    The backbone of the TMS team.

    Dreadfully sad.

    Monty

  • Comment number 18.

    I am really, really sad to hear of The Bearded Wonder's untimely passing. Needless to say, TMS will never be the same now that Bill is gone - he was in my opinion the real voice of TMS simply because he was so accurate with his info. which basically kept the commentators in line (especially the late Johnners !!)

    Rest in Peace, Bill.

  • Comment number 19.

    My reaction when logging onto BBC Cricket this evening was "Oh no!"

    I'd already mentioned to a few fellow cricket fans how I was looking forward to hearing Bill Frindall's analysis etc from the West Indies in the next month or so.

    Bill, from a fellow Wiltshire man and (less of a) 'Stat Brain', thank you for all your excellent, dedicated work and RIP.

    Andy

  • Comment number 20.

    I am going to miss voice, expertise and knowledge. What a sad loss to the world of cricket. A real gentlemen and he will be missed

  • Comment number 21.

    Terribl terrible news. He only answered a question of mine a few weeks ago on ask Bearders. I never knew that he was so sick.
    A tear will be spilt in my house as well as a fine Whiskey drunk to the Bearded Wonder.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
    God Bless and RIP Bill. Long may you be remembered.

    Legend.

  • Comment number 22.

    Bill represents everything that is great about cricket, that a dot ball in a test match can be just as exciting as a 20/20 circus. God bless you.

  • Comment number 23.

    Just 1 qustion, Will the BBC be saving up these fantastic posts from everyone here to present to his family?
    It would be a true representation to them as to how much he touched the average peoples lives.

    We will always remember, lest we forget.

  • Comment number 24.

    It's a strange thing. I never met him and only saw him up close once.
    And yet I don't think I'm alone in claiming to feel not just dismay but genuine grief that Bill is gone.
    It's an extraordinary feat to create such joy and love from something as ostensibly dry as statistics.

  • Comment number 25.

    Why on earth is Bill's passing not a major story on the front of BBC Sport???
    He gave so much to BBC sport and asked so little in return.

  • Comment number 26.

    Am I alone in thinking Bill would go on forever. I can't believe he's gone.

  • Comment number 27.

    Eirebilly, I can only echo your sentiments, although I notice that the news has gradually become more prominent through the evening.

    I still find it hard to believe that it has happened. Why was there no warning? Wasn't Bearders going to score the Test series starting next week?

  • Comment number 28.

    BBC;
    Please see the amazing momories that have been shared on the 606

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A46716113

    This man has touched people of all generations. Even people that were born in the 90's have fond memories of the bearded wonder.

  • Comment number 29.

    stargazer;
    I new that you, as a true cricket fan, would be with me in trying to get the BBC to let Bearders family know how much he meant to us.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 30.

    I used to think I was a decent scorer until I read what Bill used to do. He put me to shame, and will always be the greatest scorer. A massive loss.

  • Comment number 31.

    So so sad. He was a hero to me. It's horrible when someone like this passes away - feels like a member of the family.

    I'll dedicate my scorebooks to you, Bill.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm sat here 'visualising' his voice in my head.

    It was not authorative, but very correct and VERY distinctive.

    He will be missed by many

    God bless you Bill Frindall

  • Comment number 33.

    Eirebilly, to many of us, Bill Frindle was inseparable from TMS. I guess that the first series that I listened to seriously was the 1972 Ashes. Since then, other commentators (Trevor Bailey, Joihn Arlott, Fred Trueman, Don Mosey, Brian Johnson, etc.) have been and gone, but Bill was constant: forthright, informative, entertaining and the butt of many jokes by his fellow commentators (such as the description of him twitching in his chair like a death row prisoner who has received too small a charge in the electric chair, every time a record has just been set that the commentators have not noticed). It was sad when he stopped scoring the one-dayers, but it is tragic that he won't be heard again.

    I was a scorer myself, using a slightly simplified version of his method to score while waiting to bat in games. And liked to think of myself as a budding Frindall (with beard and all).

    Lesser personalities have so often been headlines on the BBC Web site when they died. Does Bill Frindall deserve less?

  • Comment number 34.

    Please pass on my deepest sympathies to Debbie and the rest of Bill's family. I know that I speak for all of us who have grown to know and love Test Match Special through the years that he leaves a gap which will be almost impossible to fill.

  • Comment number 35.

    Innings closed.

    God bless you.

  • Comment number 36.

    Stargazer;

    Maybe i am being too emotional, but i grew up with Bearders. To me he was the voice of cricket in Ireland. I am sure that many countries have the same. I am just shocked the BBC has not decided that Bill's passing has not earned the right to be posted on the front page.
    He transgressed generations and countries (Ireland being one) in his unusual style.
    The BBC can do a little more to honour this man.

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm sat here reading this in utter disbelief. I thought Bill was actually part of the radio, part of the fabric of the medium that is always there.

    For me listening to TMS is more than listening to cricket, it's an escape, it's a ritual, it's a welcome distraction ... and it's not going to be the same.

    Bill, I hope they play cricket in heaven.

  • Comment number 38.

    Eirebilly, it is posted on the front page: there is a little link on the right hand side. Can't miss it if you use a magnifying glass.

    No, I understand perfectly. I read the news with stunned disbelief. People like him shouldn't die.

  • Comment number 39.

    Its amazing that a guy who scores cricket matches can be the subject of such worthy praise.

    Haven't listened for ages but deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

  • Comment number 40.

    i grew up listening to TMS it was and still is a fantastic service to this country BILL FRINDALL was a vital member of the team his amazing pwers of concentration must have been exhausting at times but he was even more correct than the official scoreboard fond memories RIP ( THE BEARDED WONDER)

  • Comment number 41.

    At 11:13pm on 30 Jan 2009, pontoon_g117 wrote:
    Please pass on my deepest sympathies to Debbie and the rest of Bill's family. I know that I speak for all of us who have grown to know and love Test Match Special through the years that he leaves a gap which will be almost impossible to fill.
    ++++++++++++++++
    Can't add any more,
    Rest in Peace, Beaders

  • Comment number 42.

    I of course have read some of Bill Frindall's work but being an Aussie wasn't aware of the reverence he was held in over there. I have never had the pleasure of hearing TMS but listen to our commentators over here. Condolances to his family and all of the devoted fans whose comments I have been reading. The whole cricket World is poorer for the passing of our iconic links to the past. I trust your team can do their best in the upcoming Ashes series as a tribute to Bill, but I'm sure you will forgive me for hoping it is an enthralling 3-2 series our way especially after our comprehensive drubbing by the Sth Africans. All the best and RIP Bill.

  • Comment number 43.

    I was shocked and in disbelief with the news of passing away of our dearly beloved friend Bill Frindall.

    Thank you Bill for your wonderful services for this great game of cricket.

    My deepest sympathies goes to his beloved family.

    Good bye Bill !

    May you rest in peace!

  • Comment number 44.

    Oh those halcyon days of cat-whiskered stats
    Magical figures of Bowlers and Bats
    Right on the button with balls bowles or faced
    Who, where and when, the Total embraced.

  • Comment number 45.

    I am shocked and saddened, condolences to his family and friends.

    I am however heartened to think that the world of cricket will not forget him and he will remain in memory as one of the greats of the game.

  • Comment number 46.

    Like others, my first reaction was to say out loud "Oh no."

    A great loss to Cricket and the world of broadcasting.

    John Arlott and Fred will no doubt be waiting for him to fill the empty seat that awaits him in the celestial Lord's.

    My deepest sympathies goes to his family.

    Farewell Bill, may you rest in peace!

  • Comment number 47.

    Sad news indeed. May I offer my deepest sympathies to his family, friends, colleagues and cricket lovers from all parts of the world. Having worked in England for 5 years and returned there for the last 4 Ashes series I became a firm fan of his radio work as well as the Playfair Annual. I ventured up to the TMS box at Headingly in 1993 (as only an Aussie would do) to meet the team and have just opened my scrapbook of that tour. Would you believe it opened on the very page were Bill had written a lovely note just below Johners signature. Enjoy the cake gentlemen. Thanks Bill for the extra something special to brought to our great game. Well played.
    Diane in Perth, Western Australia

  • Comment number 48.

    as a an avid tms listner i feel as if i have lost a close family member and friend rolled into one god bless you friend and may he bring peace solace and understanding to your family

  • Comment number 49.

    According to CricInfo he caught the illness in Dubai and had been increasingly seriously ill for more than a week. I find it distressing that with an England tour and Test series just starting that the BBC did not report that he was gravely ill, even if he was not going to score for TMS on the tour.

  • Comment number 50.

    What a terrible loss to TMS and the cricketing world in general. Few people in broadcasting are irreplacable, but Bill, sadly, is. Thanks for all the pleasure you gave me and millions of others.

  • Comment number 51.

    Some mornings you just cannot escape the fact that the world is a lesser place than it was when you went to bed and
    this is one of those days.

    I never met the great man and yet he always felt like a friend to me.

    Like so many others I would be enormously grateful if the BBC would pass on my sympathy and condolences to his family.

  • Comment number 52.

    For me, Bill Frindall has been an essential part of Cricket, all my life. An essential part of Cricket.

  • Comment number 53.

    It really is the end of an era for all TMS followers. Thanks Bill for being part of such a wonderful team that bought so many hours of listening pleasure to so many of us. You'll be greatly missed by all of us.

  • Comment number 54.

    Farewell Bill

    Bill a legend to cricket and TMS. The TMS listeners and all will remember you for your estonishing facts through out a cricket.

    My thoughts are with Bills family.

  • Comment number 55.

    RIP Bill,

    A cricket legend is his own right and thank you Bill for all the insight you gave us

  • Comment number 56.

    I was four years older than Bill Frindall and at the same school. I found in, 1950 that I could bowl quite well (8 wickets for 5 runs in my first School Junior match). During 1950 to 1953 I practiced bowling most days in the playground - except in February when I took a break. In the late sixties Bill came to me and asked me to take his photo for a book cover. Then he mentioned that my constant interest in cricket in the early fifties encouraged him towards his own interest in the game. How sad that he won’t be on the commentaries again. My sympathy to his family
    from Bill Northrop

  • Comment number 57.

    r.i.p

  • Comment number 58.

    Met Bill at Old Trafford during last Ashes series when he was promoting his book.

    An absolute gentleman who was so patient with my youngest lad who was fasinated with one of his scorebooks.

    My sincere condolences to his real and sporting family.

  • Comment number 59.

    Scoring is not going to be the same again.

  • Comment number 60.

    Bill you alway's kept us up to date, you kept the unruley commentators in line and you alway's had a humerous anicdote to share with us.

    I will miss you, god bless you and your family

  • Comment number 61.

    Bill approached his job with the accumulative eye of Bradman.

    But he also had the charm and grace of a Sobers on and off the pitch or rather commentary box!

    Condolences to all Bill's nearest & dearest, who will miss this big man even more than we will.

    RIP Mr Legend

  • Comment number 62.

    Even though I'm only 16, I for one will miss hearing his scoring and how he went about his business. It's not just the older generation upset by this news; us younger members of the community realised his work and he will be deeply missed. A saddening day, and one that came as a shock.

    RIP.

  • Comment number 63.

    Tribute to Bill (The Bearded Wonder) from my time at RAF Odiham.

    It is with great sadness that we hear of the loss of a lovely Gentleman. Bill supported my endeavours alongside the Cricket Team at RAF Odiham, and in particular our charitable efforts for The Muscular Dystrophy Group (TMDG).

    Bill raised a team of friends in our Charity Cricket Challenge 1997/8, where with the help of many, we raised over £1,000 to become TMDG Champions. No small part of this was down to Bill and his colleagues.

    We loved those special two years of Bills' company and duly pay our respects to his wonderful family at this very sad time. Wellsy and friends formerly of RAF Odiham Cricket Club.

  • Comment number 64.

    Bill,

    Johnners and Fred will be waiting for you at the gates.

    God bless you.

  • Comment number 65.

    I never knew Bill Frindall but I have listened to him for many years and scored cricket matches for almost as long.


    He has touched millions of cricket lovers.

  • Comment number 66.

    I started listening to TMS a short time before Bill became the scorer, but I can only remember him in that role, so completely did he do the job.

    I recall John Major saying the "summers will never be the same" after the passing of Johnners, and surely exactly the same comment - if not even more so - applies to the passing of Bill/ Bearders.

    Thanks Bill - I am sure that you will now be keeping score at an even higher level!

  • Comment number 67.

    And so the Great Scorer is called up for the final time by the Greatest Scorer.

    W. Frindall: ... run out (Legionnaires) - 69

    He will be missed.

  • Comment number 68.

    As a life long cricket fan I grew up with TMS and in particular the erudite and charming Bill. He always seemed, to me the voice of sanity in an often-tumultuous commentary box! I will miss him and know that his family and friends will of course mourn his passing but more verdantly take joy in knowing him.

  • Comment number 69.

    Bill Frindall, 'The Bearded Wonder': TMS, the TMS Commentary Box and Cricket in general will never be quite the same again with Bill's dimissal.

    To all his family I offer my deepest symathy and also the comfort of knowing that brought a huge amount of pleasure to me and millions of others.

    And what else can I say about his dismissal: 'Bit of an unfair decision, Umpire' !

    Thanks for everything, Bill.

  • Comment number 70.

    When I found out yesterday I just couldn't believe it, I didn't know what to say. TMS is like a family, a family who make sitting up through the very early and very late hours listening to the cricket, through the good times and the bad times so enjoyable. Bill was such a popular and important member of this family, I feel as though I've lost a friend. TMS will never be the same, and everyone will miss The Bearded Wonder so much. Thank you Bill for all you brought to TMS and cricket, it means so much to us all and we only now realise how much, you never know what you've got until it's gone.

    :(

    My thoughts are with his family and friends

  • Comment number 71.

    Very very very beloved Bill
    It’s hard to believe it was God’s will.
    Highly premature was His call,
    Cricket enthusiasts miss certain thrill!
    *
    Without stats cricket nears nil,
    Records disclose stories to tell,
    Accurate archives organised by Frindall
    Magnify achievements of the game with ball.
    *
    History reveals the records to all,
    Stats aid to value as measuring scale.
    Every player looks back proudly after-all,
    In his cricket career as a whole.
    *
    One has to recall the books of Bill
    As a fan or player to read fascinating tales
    Of a cricket Match that played its role;
    Coul’d be recalled from Frindall’s reels.
    *
    Bill had to follow His sudden call!
    To deprive millions of cricket ardent fans,
    Was He Himself so curious to know as well,
    About Cricket’s fascination directly from Frindall?
    *
    Divided support the Fans one’s own Team;
    United was their appreciation to Frindall.
    Without his archives is like a team without seam.
    Well done, thank you so much dear Bill.
    *
    - Mahendra, Berlin 01.02.09


  • Comment number 72.

    It's two days since Bill died and I still can't believe it. I met him once at the Trent Bridge test a couple of summers ago when he signed his new autobiography. Charming, and accurate as ever, he asked whether I spelled John with or without an h. He was a wonderful man, much loved by longstanding cricket worshippers such as me and my cricket buddy Phil. Please let us know if there's going to be a memorial service that we could attend to bid him properly farewell.

  • Comment number 73.

    another of life's great constants gone. He was a wonderfully stayed and grounded presence among the glorious characters and egos of TMS. It was always instructive to hear the respectful silence of his more famous and illustrious colleagues when he had something to say.

    Very sad. Thoughts with his family and friends

  • Comment number 74.

    You kind of hope that people like Bill Frindall would carry their bat.

    Condolences to all his family and friends

    You will be missed but you will be remembered fondly

  • Comment number 75.

    I left the UK in 1978 and have not listened to TMS since. But I still read all about it every summer. I have fond memories of many happy hours listening to it during the decade before I left. After all these years, when I think of TMS I still think of John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Bill Frindall. It was a real shock to read Friday that the last of these three greats is no longer with us. I still have trouble believing it. The last time I felt like this about a cricket death was when I read of Freddie's death in 2006.

    My condolences to his family. We all know he is even more irreplaceable for you than he is for us.

  • Comment number 76.

    Like all I will miss Bill

    I wonder though what if we had a Margaret Rutherford (Miss Marples) character take his place.

    I'm sure Bill would look down laughing and of course be counting.

  • Comment number 77.

    I spoke to Bill (I can't think of anyone calling him Mr. Frindall) several times in connection with a marathon cricket match. He was enthusiastic, encouraging and friendly, far more so than I had hoped or expected.

    Bill sent a hand written note wishing us good luck for the event which I will treasure.

    He ranks alongside the greats of cricket commentry. Arlott, Johnners and the Bearded Wonder, all irreplacable and all sadly missed.

    Charles Sheldrick
    Cheriton Fitzpaine CC

  • Comment number 78.

    Very sad day for cricket.

    TMS will never be the same without him

  • Comment number 79.

    a walking encyclopedia of cricket will surely be missed. the famous trio of John Arlott, Brian Johnston and Bill Frindal still stay fresh in my memory- I was lucky.

  • Comment number 80.

    I grew up listening to Bill and seems as if a little piece of my childhood has gone. It is a loss for the cricket world.

    All our thoughts are with his family.

  • Comment number 81.

    I am very honoured that my question was mentioned on http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/7856507.stm but the full answer is even more a marker of what this man was to cricket.
    Look it up on http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tms/2008/11/ask_bearders_182.shtml . The amount of attention to detail that Bearders had brought the game alive to listeners worldwide. He is already missed in the blog where so many questions will now go unanswered. You can't just go to Cricinfo Statsguru for this stuff. You need a human mind with a passion for the game and a love for the little details.
    RIP Bearders.

  • Comment number 82.

    Bill has been busy upstairs in heaven already. He's just changed the result of the forfeited Eng-Pak test back to an England win!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    I just had to add my comment, I'll really miss Bill as part of the TMS team. I loved the banter with the rest of the commentators. I think my favourite bits were normally when someone mentioned they had just got an e-mail from a Mr Pittard (I think thats his name) and set Bill a challenge. Bill has inspired many cricket satistians who really do care if they are listerning to the highest 7th wicket parnership at Lords on a Friday!

  • Comment number 84.

    I am in shock. I have only just found out about Bill and I cannot find the words to describe my feelings. My thoughts are with him and his family, what a loss to world cricket and the to all of us in general. He will be deeply missed.

    Peter

  • Comment number 85.

    Living for 25 years as a US citizen resident ( of Pakistani origin) in a land where cricket is an insect or if mentioned at all a butt of comedians' jokes all of I have to say is that the "Bearded Wonder" is another one of my links to a sport I cherish; gone but never, ever, forgotten! The great John Arlott and the wonder that was Bill Frindall shall forever remain in the commentary box to end the passionate heated arguments of those of us crowded around shortwave radios. 'Shhh! listen for they speak."
    Alas they speak but we hear no more.
    May God bless you for the joy you brought to so many of us throughout the cricketing world.

  • Comment number 86.

    A landmark has been removed.

  • Comment number 87.

    Iwas fortunate enough to have met bill some 30 years or so ago when i lived in london.
    I have emailed him a query or two ever since i lived in Toronto, Canada.
    He seemed like so much a part of the game of cricket as the players themselves.I know that i shall miss his wit and off the cuff coments in his replies.
    Sincere condolences to his family,including the TMS team.
    Regards,
    Orville Carter

  • Comment number 88.

    Here in Australia we often get a bit behind with important news, so I've only just heard about Bill. As a professional statistician, I can only say he had the best job in the world, and did it as well as it could be done. I don't think the cricket world will appreciate just how important Bill was for a year or so, for this is a game where the numbers matter as much as the playing of it. Bill was not only a great recorder of these statistics, but also a very knowledgeable historian of the game. More than any member of the TMS team, he is irreplaceable.

  • Comment number 89.

    What? I can't believe it! What happened?
    Just the other day i read his latest column, now he's gone! I'm absolutely shocked!

  • Comment number 90.

    Having been a cricket nut since I can remember I grew up listening to Bill and the team
    Summer days driving in the car or sitting in the deck chair listening to TMS will not be the same.

  • Comment number 91.

    He was the perfect man for the job, and he will be remembered along with Arlott, BJ and the other greats of cricket broadcasting.

  • Comment number 92.

    I only heard the sad news yesterday (as an avid listener of Radio 5 - the News and Sport station - I am surprised it took so long! Why not a top story?! Anything happens to Dr Who actors and it's everywhere on the BBC - Bearders' untimely death - barely anything - shame)

    I never met Bill but he was a part of my life every summer. I will miss him dearly. Even on the Western Terrace the people around would hush to listen to Bill's latest stat.

    I really hope that his family and that the TMS team are doing ok. Looking at the blog it's clear that our hearts go out to you at this difficult time.

    Bill will be sorely missed.

  • Comment number 93.

    just got pc back up and running. Just wanted to say what a sad loss to cricket, sport and radio the bearded wonders death is. I hope there will be a tribute to him at some point in todays commentry

  • Comment number 94.

    Bill was an amazing addition to the game of cricket. He somehow made everyone aware of the world of scoring without letting it loose any of its complexity, infact he made it seem even more mysterious and magical.
    He truely was a wonder and listening to TMS today without him will be very strange.

  • Comment number 95.

    Bearders was brilliant at his job and will be sorely missed.

    Actually TMS in the Windies is missing something?

    30 odd for 2 and no bearders ......

  • Comment number 96.

    Goodbye Bearders you will be greatly missed. TMS will never be the same again. A true undisputed legend in his field.

  • Comment number 97.

    An innings cut cruelly short by a bad umpiring decision. I'm sure that he will be accepting his dismissal with the good grace and humour that were his hallmark. Back in the pavilion with Johnners and Fred hoping for no more dismissals in the middle order.

  • Comment number 98.

    Memories of Bill: Some time in the 70's (England/Aust 1975?) before Bill was allowed unrestricted access to a microphone, often notes were passed from scorer to commentator. Brian Johnston announced "Bill's just passed me a note." (Rustle of paper being unfolded.) "It says..... Your chair is on my foot!"

    Wheezing stifled laughter from Jonners.

    I was painting a bedroom ceiling at the time and almost fell of the ladder.

    RIP Bill, you will be so sadly missed.

  • Comment number 99.

    Bill was fantastic. As soon as I knew Bill was scoring a match and this might only be once he spoke on air, I would get really excited. With Bill present I now knew we would get his comments on air about the statistical minutia of cricket or simply the match updates. When someone was approaching or created a new cricketing record, Bill would read out other top statistical achievements related in this particular statistical mile stone. Often these would include years such as 1932, 1948 and so on. Bill brought a sense of cricketing history. I may not have heard all the test matches of the past, commentators might not know about all the tests matches of the past but Bill had the statistics of all the tests matches of the past. If he didn't then I believe his wife would phone them in, as I seem to remember hearing once.

    If someone objected to a ICC status of a test match and refused to include it in their statistics they would simply get told by their client or bosses to include it or else. Well everyone that is expect Bill. Bill was so important he could set his own rules which were always based on his moral beliefs and not some whim.

    I wouldn't have the concentration Bill had in order to score. I couldn't score as neatly as Bill. I don't even have a huge interest in the study of maths. However I just love cricketing statistics, the more exact and/or obscure the better, and this is solely down to Bill.

    I recommend people read Bills autobiography. It's a fascinating read and in celebration of Bill's life, have a drink of some "falling over water" (Frindall).

  • Comment number 100.

    i'm very sad to hear the news, so long Bill " bearders" Frindall, thanks for the happy times

 

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