1997 Onwards -
Below is the text of Sir John Major’s comments made at the Thanksgiving Service for Sir Alec Bedser CBE, held at Southwark Cathedral on Monday 12th July 2010.
SIR JOHN MAJOR:
Alec and Eric Bedser were indivisible: even God made them complementary. One bowled medium fast. One was a spinner. One was a batsman. One wasn’t. Both fielded -
And both would have been surprised -
Arthur Morris and Micky Stewart are from cricket’s High Table, and have spoken with affection of the Alec they knew. Alec would have liked that: he didn’t approve of everyone but he did approve of Micky. And he loved Arthur Morris like a brother and -
As a boy, I idolised Alec Bedser from the cheap seats: later, I came to know him as a friend. There was nothing false or puffed-
Such men as the Bedser brothers are rare. In times long gone, their forebears fought at Agincourt and Waterloo. Alec -
Alec’s views on cricket were trenchant -
However, he wasn’t a lover of every aspect of modern cricket. I sat with him when an English fast bowler hurled himself full-
Alec didn’t agree. His view was different: “Bloody fool -
To watch cricket with Alec was an education. To listen to him was a master-
When Alec was Knighted for “Services to cricket”, the brothers were delighted. Eric said: “He’s the first bowler to be Knighted since Sir Francis Drake”.
Those of us privileged to know Alec could offer a thousand vignettes.
He came to No 10 one summer’s evening, clutching a bag of his home-
Alec was a good friend to have. His support -
I like to think they’ve rejoined old friends, formed a celestial cricket team, and now discuss tactics over their usual midday pint. I can picture Alec on some green field: bowling again to Bradman, perhaps, and testing himself against Grace and Trumper. A little cloud cover would help his swing and, with luck, the heavenly turf will allow the leg-
Alec played cricket like a poet: his length and line were perfect. The finest poem cricket has known, written of a much earlier great bowler, ended with the plea that “the turf may lay softly upon him”.
And on you, dear Alec. And on you.