Sir Garry Sobers is the GREATEST!

Submitted by William Skinner

garry_sobersThere is, or at least was, a picture of Sir Garfield Sobers, in the hall of the Bay Primary School, located in Bayville that most of us will recall was once called Bay Land. The striking aspect of the picture is that Sir Garry is standing there with bat in hand it and appears to us that he is batting slightly outside the leg stump. In other words, all of his stumps are exposed. Many young boys have stared at this picture for years trying to figure out how Sir Garry could “move so fast” to avoid his stumps being uprooted. In those days, we argued whether that stance was genuine or if it was done merely for the cameras.

This photo, for me, began a fascination with this great man which has grown throughout the passing years. As a frequent visitor to one of my greatest friends Mike, who lived in Walcott’s Avenue, Bayville, I actually grew up knowing where Sir Garry lived and as time went on, I got to know his mother, sister and brother. So in my little way, I felt extremely honored to tell people, up to this day, that I not only attended the same school as Sir Garry but knew where he lived and could easily identify members of his family including nephews and nieces.

However, it was an encounter with an Indian gas station owner in The USA that drove home the admiration that others had for Sir Garry. After my purchase, the gas station owner asked me where I was from and my answer elicited the response: “You from Barbados; that is where Garfield Sobers is from.” The ensuing conversation went on for almost twenty five minutes. When I told him that I went to the same school as Sir Garry; knew where his family home was and has seen him driving around and actually had very brief conversations with him, the gentleman acted as if I were Sir Garry! He enjoyed the conversation so much that I had to decline his offer to give me back the money I paid for my gasoline. For him, having met somebody who had the slightest real connection to Sir Garry, was almost as good as meeting the great man himself.

I drove away from that station, very proud to be an old bay Primary boy and grateful that one of my best friends lived on the same avenue as Sir Garry. Throughout the years, when I related this story to others from any part of the world, the esteem in which Sir Garry is held has always amazed me. I am also of the opinion, that we have never truly utilized or recognized the greatness of this humble extremely pleasant and polite National Hero.

He is perhaps the only sports man whose exceptional talents have not been surpassed by any in his sport and who remains unchallenged as the greatest all round cricketer to have ever played the game. It is therefore fitting that the government has included Sir Garry and the attainment of his eightieth birthday in our fiftieth independence celebrations.

Sir Garry has walked with Kings and Queens but has never lost the common touch. The entire Caribbean region has not produced any citizen who has displayed such excellence, in his or her chosen field, and whose talents have not been surpassed.

Happy birthday, Sir Garry.


41 Comments on “Sir Garry Sobers is the GREATEST!”

  1. Gabriel July 28, 2016 at 8:20 PM #

    Ne’er a truer word.Garry,the greatest cricketer on Earth or Mars as sung by Sparrow.Garry is mobbed everywhere he goes in Barbados let alone the cricketing world which worship this icon.


  2. David July 28, 2016 at 8:51 PM #



  3. ac July 28, 2016 at 9:30 PM #

    Never met the man but is a living symbol of true patriotism. May he lived to achieve the ultimate century. Happy birthday to Sir Gary Sobers


  4. David July 29, 2016 at 6:35 AM #


    Thank you for a nice tribute to Sir Garry, the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen.

    A big crowd attended the event last evening, however one must ask if the reason was to see the masters of the past turning back the hands of time or was it to pay tribute to the great man.


  5. Georgie Porgie July 29, 2016 at 7:38 AM #

    William, Sir Garry did not attend Bay Primary School…..but Bay Street Boys. By the time Bay Primary was opened (to replace Bay Street Boys) Sir Garry was long a test cricketer. Sir Garry visited the school some time after his first test century, however, and the picture of which you speak was put up at that time. I know this because I was present. My brother and I began our schooling at Bay Street Boys and were part of the transfer to the school in Bay Gardens in early 1958.


  6. ac July 29, 2016 at 8:09 AM #

    The greatest all rounder ever. He still stands tall in the winning circle of cricket achievements .Shined at a an time when the world seemed larger but yet the greatness of Sir Gary made a significant impact in minds throughout the world instrumental in bringing all races and cultures to the Carribbean shores in an era of racial divison


  7. ac. July 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM #

    Waiting to see how many voices her on Bu would give recognition to Sir Gary excellence and his well deserved birthday bash as to the many comments that were given to Tony Coziers departure on this earth


  8. Artax July 29, 2016 at 10:50 AM #

    I join with all Barbadians in recognizing Sir Gary’s achievements in cricket and wishing him a happy birthday. The celebrations were welcomed especially against the background he is our only living national hero and he was alive to witness honours being bestowed upon him. In this regard, it was money well spent.

    However, in my opinion, the celebrations had a minor set-back when Fruendel Stuart, during his speech, chose to introduce a comparative analysis between Sir Gary and independence, then go on to make statements to score cheap political points.

    Stuart made a statement to imply that the DLP voted 14 for independence, while the BLP voted 8 against. Although it is true, I thought his comments were in poor taste and not relevant to the occasion.

    Stuart of all people should know there’s a time and place for everything.


  9. ndtewarie July 29, 2016 at 9:32 PM #

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.



  10. Bajan in NY July 29, 2016 at 11:00 PM #

    @ Artax July 29, 2016 at 10:50 AM #

    At least that statement was factual, but his saying that one of the main reasons why Barbados got independence from England in 1966 was because of Garry Sobers’ performance on the tour to England that same year was ludicrous


  11. millertheannunaki July 30, 2016 at 12:07 AM #

    @ ac. July 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Let us put it this way.
    Sir Garry is to cricket what Muhammad Ali was to boxing.
    He is a living god in the pantheon of sporting legends and if ‘Lord’ Garry was born in India he would be idolized as such.


  12. Sargeant July 30, 2016 at 12:13 AM #

    Congrats to Sir Gary on reaching another milestone.

    In days of yesteryear men/boys wanted to be like him and women wanted to be with him. I was never privileged to see any great innings in person, one remembers the time when late in the day he hit the English pacer Jones for four consecutive fours at Kensington and when I travelled to the Oval the following day he didn’t last long but Sir Gary was most vulnerable early in his innings but after he settled in it was “katy bar the door” for the opposing team. One also recalls a story possibly apocryphal that when he scored 43 in 15 minutes in one of the Tests in Australia (1960 tour) with ten fours, a two and a single that one of the Aussie commentators said “there is nothing else to live for”, and promptly died three months later.

    In the dictionary the word “panache” should have a photo of Sir Gary next to it, on the playing field he was always immaculately dressed, he batted with style and elegance and showed flashes of power when needed. He fielded with flair and courage and who can forget the many images of him “crowding” a batsman many of whom were so discomfited at his close proximity that they became easy scalps for bowlers. Has anyone ever walked to the crease with so much style? That walk with an insignificant bend at the waist, feet with a smidgeon of pigeon toe, upturned collar and shirt of which the top two buttons served as decorations; his only visible accoutrements, the bat, pads and mittens sans cap which would only serve to obscure his handsome visage.

    I don’t know what musical talent he had but someone with vision ensured that he would secure a place in the Police Band which guaranteed that this promising “bowler” could play for the Police First Eleven in the BCA competition.
    If I could get close to him I would ask if the ghost of the splendid Jamaican batsman Collie Smith fueled his fire (Sir Gary was at the wheel of the car involved in the accident when Smith died), was he trying to combine two careers in one?

    Some may score more runs, some may take better catches, some may hit the ball harder and further and some may bowl better but none have come close to replacing this cricket icon in the imagination of an adolescent boy who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s.


  13. Pachamama July 30, 2016 at 6:51 AM #

    Only the Great I Am ……………… is the Greatest!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  14. ac July 30, 2016 at 7:20 AM #

    Pachamama there is a time and place for everything steupseeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  15. William Skinner July 30, 2016 at 7:41 AM #

    @Georgie Pogue
    Thanks for your comment. You are correct to say that Sir Garry attended Bay Street Boys. Howe ever it is quite customary for those of us who attended Bay Primary to see ourselves as the younger version of Bay Street. I intend no argument here but there is I think an Old Bay Street Boys Association that welcomes old Bay PriMary boys. Again I speak under correction but I think that the Bay Primary was built to accommodate the Federal headquarters but became a school after that flopped.


  16. David July 30, 2016 at 8:01 AM #


    Wonderful tribute, very colorful!


    Your one liner sums it up. What more can we say.

    On Sat, Jul 30, 2016 at 11:41 AM, Barbados Underground wrote:



  17. ac July 30, 2016 at 9:05 AM #

    His one liner speaks of another source of greatness which in my opinion has no connection to Sir Gary achievements as a cricketer or his birthday.
    Be that as it may we all are entitled to those moments of stupidity including u speckled fowl.


  18. Georgie Porgie July 30, 2016 at 9:22 AM #

    re ndtewarie July 29, 2016 at 9:32 PM #
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.




    HOWEVER WHEN Pachamama July 30, 2016 at 6:51 AM # SAID
    Only the Great I Am ……………… is the Greatest!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    RE Again I speak under correction but I think that the Bay Primary was built to accommodate the Federal headquarters but became a school after that flopped. THIS IS AN INTERESTING REVELATION


  19. Donna July 30, 2016 at 12:54 PM #

    One would question the nationality of a person who could make such a silly statement. Man, Sobers had Kanhai licked before he even faced a ball. People from all over the world said that would pay just to see him walk to the wicket with his collar up. That walk was heavenly!


  20. Hopi July 31, 2016 at 12:23 PM #

    Good to see that this man is being honoured for his achievement while he’s still alive and yes HE IS the GREATEST is the sport of Cricket.

    Pacha…we ought to stop placing man-made qualifications on the “ALL” or “THE GREAT I AM” for in doing so we limit “IT” with our finite minds.


  21. David July 31, 2016 at 12:37 PM #

    Was it enough to honor a living hero by hosting a cricket match in his honour.


  22. Pachamama July 31, 2016 at 12:49 PM #

    @ Hopi

    Stop being so serious about everything.

    Our comment is to be subjected to multiple interpretations.

    Is yours not in and of itself a manmade construction?

    More generally, we have been and always will be, opposed to attaching these kinds of hagiographies to any human. These are infinitely more dangerous than your assumption.


  23. David July 31, 2016 at 12:53 PM #


    Tiny Best posted to his Facebook timeline that something more significant should have been done like renaming Kensington Oval the Gary Sobers Oval.


  24. Pachamama July 31, 2016 at 12:55 PM #

    @ David

    That would make more sense. We would readily concur.


  25. Hants July 31, 2016 at 1:04 PM #

    It makes sense because there will never be another Bajan cricketer as good as Sir Gary.

    Modern cricket has changed and not enough Test cricket is played.

    Would be good to change the name on Nov. 30th.


  26. David July 31, 2016 at 1:05 PM #


    It would nestle nicely with Stuart’s mooted idea of Barbados moving to a Republic.


  27. ac July 31, 2016 at 1:30 PM #

    Pachamama stop hiding behind your sarcasm.You intend for your comment to be prerogative most people would have heard that statement in as much as you have not attached a forwarding to what the “I am” meant . it cannot go without saying that “I am” is a religious ideaology which you would have known and heard of descriptive of God.Now here u go on bended knees reacting as if u should not be called out as the bearer of religious qoutations which u have always rejected or deny.


  28. de pedantic Dribbler July 31, 2016 at 1:57 PM #

    @David, re your 12:53 PM. Tony Best ‘s recommendation to rename the Oval is as good a thought as others proposed but they all miss the simple point that it’s not necessary to create more and more physical edifices in Sir Garry’s name to validate his status.

    Beyond the many statues and symbols already proudly bearing his name he is a NATIONAL Hero….and one of a very select number.

    Surely our youth and country can be even better served with a virtual ‘edifice’ with ALL things Sir Garry from around the world: Whether a part of the National Heroes website or separately, a powerful representation of his legacy as a National Hero in life with comprehensive references of symbols (statues, buildings), his life story of striving to be the best and all other significant tributes (written, audio, video) made in his honor.

    It’s rather easy to put his name up in lights on a building or have a big one-off spectacle but a lot more work and energy for the BGIS or whomever to create and maintain a truly special all-year forever acclaim to this great National Hero.

    All our Nat. Heroes should be comprehensively detailed in this way actually…in this explosive tech era, but Sir Garry’s exploits lend themselves absolutely perfectly to this our Gen Y tech world.

    Name as many buildings as the Gov’t desires but let’s also bring Sir Garry and Bussa and EWB and all the others to life continually beyond those static models.


  29. David July 31, 2016 at 2:04 PM #

    @Dee Word

    It was Tino Best NOT Tony Best. Tino of 500 women fame.

    And Kensington represents to Sobers what the hammer is to a carpenter.

    On Sun, Jul 31, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Barbados Underground wrote:



  30. Hopi July 31, 2016 at 2:07 PM #

    Pacha…how did you reach the realm of hagiography when we are merely writing about the superb ability of a MAN in the field of cricket? We are not writing of his bedroom prowess or his status as a father or politiican or how well he kept his financial house in order or his humanitarian activity. Thankfully we can say that HE IS the GREATEST in cricket.


  31. Pachamama July 31, 2016 at 2:24 PM #

    @ Hopi

    Maybe our misunderstanding lies in the meaning of hagiography.

    Again, unlike you and AC, we do not support the deification of anyone.


  32. Hants July 31, 2016 at 2:26 PM #

    Sir Gary Sobers is the greatest Barbadian cricket all rounder ever.


  33. Pachamama July 31, 2016 at 2:30 PM #

    @ Hants

    You are wrong. The best the world has ever seen.


  34. Hants July 31, 2016 at 2:35 PM #

    @ Pachamama,

    Sir Gary Sobers is the greatest Barbadian cricket all rounder ever.

    That is a fact.

    That is why I support renaming Kensington oval.


  35. Hopi July 31, 2016 at 2:47 PM #

    Pacha………let’s go back to grade school…Great, Greater, Greatest: Good, Better, Best, Small, Smaller, Smallest…..where’s the deification?


  36. David July 31, 2016 at 3:28 PM #
    Tino La Bertram Best

    Yesterday at 4:15am ·

    So why we can’t rename Kensington Oval to The Sir Gary Sobers Oval "SGS Oval" that’s too much for Black Man in Bdos right ??? and the most u can do to honour the Greatest cricketing icon of all times is a cricket match come on man ,Sir Gary is a national hero and the only living one ….Don’t matter how big u get bajans will always want to make u feel small ,Willie Lynch syndrome alive and well very sad ,Cricket don’t play at the gymnasium in Wildey if y’all wanna say something name after him already but my good friend Daren Sammy got a whole cricket ground name after him good on ya bro double World Cup winner 👊🏾👊🏾. We as a ppl have never loved our own but quick to love anyone who isn’t from Bdos .



    99You, Stokely Murray, Tino La Bertram Best and 96 others



    Stewart Molyneux

    Stewart Molyneux Totally agree with you Tino. All the best to you once a Yorkie always a Yorkie

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 5:03am

    Dani Dion

    Dani Dion No matter what, I agree with you. #donliketosupporttheirown

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 7:05am · Edited

    Jennifer Young

    Jennifer Young

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 8:36am

    David Browne

    David Browne True thing….. Yet we have the Usain Bolt complex here in Barbados, im still trying to find out why!!!

    Nothing for Akeela Jones either.,. We are a sad bunch.

    Like · Reply · 4 · Yesterday at 10:28am

    Dave Sobers

    Dave Sobers I agree with you not because you’re my Starboy, but because you talk the truth and what’s on your mind. Let me add also that bajans Entertainers have shows in BIM and the place empty, TNT have a show in BIM during lent season because they don’t hold shows in TNT during lent…..and de place ram with bajans lol

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 10:35am

    Obadele Thompson

    Obadele Thompson Tino, you know why…

    Like · Reply · 3 · Yesterday at 11:03am

    Anderson Kia Cerato

    Anderson Kia Cerato Tino zip it mate you know they don’t like you so stay cool and watch the hypocrites unfold their wickedness.

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 11:37am

    Shelli-Ann Callender

    Shelli-Ann Callender No comment

    Like · Reply · Yesterday at 1:06pm

    Doriel Skinner

    Doriel Skinner I agree with you Tino La Bertram Best. Don’t zip nothing, say what’s on your mind. Look how them name the track after Bolt. What has he done for Barbados again????? Leaving that there.

    Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 2:49pm

    Pierre Marquis

    Pierre Marquis The track is the property of the UWI, I think its a good example of showing regional integration. With that said, Tino is spot on with his comment.

    Like · Reply · 7 hrs


  37. Georgie Porgie July 31, 2016 at 10:07 PM #

    charlie Davis comments on Sobers imter alia


  38. Georgie Porgie July 31, 2016 at 10:37 PM #


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