Jamie Hood was inducted into the North Yorkshire & South Durham ECB Premier League’s Hall of Fame at the League’s presentation evening a few weeks before Christmas. It was an emotional evening as more than 300 attendees rose as one in a standing ovation that lasted several minutes as the audience paid tribute to Jamie.
The presentation party included the President of the ECB, Ian Lovett, the President of Durham CB, Bob Jackson, former England international and NYSD CEO Geoff Cook, and Chris West, President of the NYSD and chair of Yorkshire CB.
Stephen Brenkley, the former Cricket Correspondent of the Independent, said:
“Tonight it is the North Yorkshire and South Durham League’s privilege to admit to our Hall of Fame a remarkable man. There he will join a band of accomplished cricketers whose considerable deeds he might well have surpassed.
But one late night in South Africa almost a quarter of a century ago Jamie Hood’s life changed forever. A freak car accident in which his vehicle left the road led to him being paralysed from the neck down and confined to life in a wheelchair. A further accident in hospital later compounded those grievous injuries. He was 21 years old.
What a career had lain in prospect. A product of Redcar Cricket Club, Jamie was a prodigiously talented cricketer. He batted with style in the middle order and bowled quickly, qualities which saw him picked for England Under 15s. He won the England Schools Cricket Association’s batting and bowling awards. That team in the summer of 1992 also contained the likes of Luke Sutton, Mark Wagh and Alec Swann.
Jamie was invited to join the Yorkshire Academy and spent three formative seasons learning his trade. He was amongst talented company. A photograph of the Yorkshire squad taken at the start of the 1997 season, shows Jamie and 23 other players. Twelve of them had or would go on to play Test match cricket for England.
Jamie was denied that opportunity and where it might have taken him we can only speculate, but to some very high places would be a decent estimate. He has his memories of course, a century for Yorkshire 2nd XI at Park Avenue, Bradford, dismissing Paul Collingwood for a duck. At his home town club Redcar his scintillating 161 against Northallerton, a club record, is still talked of. It was raining sixes that day, before that became the fashion, and it ended only when he was run out. But these deeds were slight compared to what could and should have been.
Lesser men would have crumbled. Not Jamie Hood. He got on with getting on. Helped by family – dad Ray, mum Lynne, brother Tim, sister Lauren and his nieces and nephews to whom he is devoted, Jamie, Noah, Alfie, Harper, Beau, Isla, Jax and Ivy – he has lived a full, determined life.
In recent years the Professional Cricketers’ Trust have enhanced his life in terms of his ability to communicate and to travel. But it is his enduring stoicism in the face of immense personal difficulties that has shone through. Anyone who saw and heard his short film last year made for the PCT will have been deeply moved not only by his strength of purpose but by his engaging character.
Many of you, of course, will have seen him around our club grounds. His passion for our great game has remained intact. As his friends at Redcar said: “He can be seen week in, week out at grounds watching cricket. He will always offer advice to those who want it and is always smiling no matter what the situation. A great man, who despite his injuries, always sees the brighter side of life and cricket in general.”
And there you have it, ladies and gentleman. An amazing career might have been curtailed but here is a true man of cricket. Please salute and welcome to our Hall of Fame, Jamie Hood.”