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A tribute to Cally

— 13 March 2018

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club were in mourning on Monday evening following the sad passing of cricket commentator Dave Callaghan at the age of 63.

Cally, as he was affectionately known as at Emerald Headingley, has been the storyteller of many great Yorkshire cricket moments over the years, with a warmth in his voice that could only be matched by his kindness, knowledge and infectious personality off air.

Considered by most as the voice of Yorkshire Cricket, Cally enjoyed a journalism career that spanned over 45 years. He had held the position of Sports Editor at BBC Radio Leeds and commentated on various sports, however, cricket is where Cally truly found his voice.

In total, Cally commentated on 415 County Championship fixtures, presiding over great moments such as promotion from Division Two in 2012, Ryan Sidebottom’s Championship winning wicket in 2014 and the defence of this crown a year later.

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club chairman Steve Denison paid tribute to the late commentator, saying: “Cally was one of the finest, most generous men I’ve had the privilege to meet. His radio commentary was peerless, full of his passion for Yorkshire CCC whilst always respecting the opposition.

“Seeing DC squeezed into a variety of commentary boxes is a lasting memory…the shoebox at Scarborough and the cell on the cricket side of the old rugby stand at Headingley are particular favourites.

“His love of cricket was matched only by the affection for him of his thousands of listeners. Every county cricket fan has lost a treasured friend.”

Yorkshire cricket journalist David Warner is a man who shared many media boxes with Cally over the years. Warner has paid testament to Cally’s commitment to county cricket by saying: “In all of my 44 seasons of covering Yorkshire cricket, I have not come across a more likable or friendly colleague who was a larger than life figure and who was a consummate professional.

“He was superbly suited to his earlier roles as Radio Leeds sports editor before joining the Rugby League for a while but he it was when he began covering Yorkshire CCC home and away that he found his perfect niche in life.

“When the BBC local radio stations began their ball-by-ball coverage of County Cricket I wondered if the long hours and total commitment which was necessary would prove too arduous for Dave, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“He relished the challenge and was absolutely brilliant, not only giving day-long live commentary but also cutting in several times each hour to serve the local radio stations throughout Yorkshire.

“Dave led the way and his expertise was admired by colleagues doing a similar job with other counties around the country.

“Both the media and Yorkshire County Cricket Club have lost a dear friend whom it will be virtually impossible to replace but it must be of some comfort to all who knew him that he went out at the very top of his game.”

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