In case you missed it, click here to link to my New Zealand Herald tribute article to Martin Crowe. I wrote the piece in less than 90 minutes in the emotion and shock of hearing my great mate had died. If I’d had more time it might’ve been more refined, more eloquent. But sometimes writing in the heat of the moment when the words just flow is the way to go.
There were so many anecdotes not in the article I could’ve shared. Like how when I was a music radio host Marty would always text me while he was driving to get requests on. Normally these were Michael Buble songs, specifically Everything which when his daughter Emma was about 4, 5 and 6 was her favourite song.
I loved breaking the rules (without telling my boss – sorry boss) and rearranging the computer song logs to accommodate my extraordinary buddy. The idea that Marty and Emmy would be driving along Tamaki Drive in his convertible, listening to their father / daughter song always made me smile. How awesome that Marty had that kind of power; the power to make a radio station play whatever song he wanted and to get it on at just the perfect moment.
This is one of my most cherished Marty stories because it sums him up in so many ways. He wasn’t just a doting father, but a dad with such a strong sense of fun too. He genuinely loved music as well – it was one of his absolute passions. And his was always a life unlike most people’s. Normal people can’t click their fingers and get songs instantly on the radio, but Martin Crowe was not a normal person.
He had a kind of star-power that transcended mere celebrity. His was a beautiful, mysterious, complex, complicated, emotional, passionate and compassionate mind that always drew me to him. I’ve never known anyone quite like him – his ceaseless drive to improve at everything he did, from batting, to commentary to writing, still blows me away – and yet it is the simplicity of his generosity and kindness that I’ll miss the most.
For the best article about Martin Crowe the man, as opposed to Martin Crowe the cricketer, click here to read Channel 9 commentator Mark Nicholas’ piece on Cricinfo.com. Like me, Nicholas was privileged to know Marty as a friend and amongst many other things, he talks about the wonderful relationship Marty had with his wife Lorraine Downes. Lorraine may be a former Miss Universe, but to describe her only as such does her and Marty a disservice. For Lorraine is a uniquely strong, intelligent, spiritual and empathetic lady who had such a profound impact on her husband’s life that he would call her his “guardian angel”.
One last time, here’s that Michael Buble song Marty used to text me to hear. This is for Emmy, but so too Lorraine and all the family. And here is the New Zealand Herald link once again: