Dicky Rutnagur, renowned cricket writer, broadcaster and squash correspondent died last night. He was 82.
The following is a tribute by the president of the Cricket Writers’ Club, Plum Warner:
I feel I have lost a close friend and a marvellous Press Box colleague with the death of Dicky Rutnagur, whom I have known since I covered my first Yorkshire match in 1975.
Dicky had a profound love of English cricket at all levels and he was equally at home, whether covering a Test Match or a game from the lower reaches of the County Championship. Whatever the occasion, or whatever the match, Dicky would not be straying from the Press Box, which was where his heart was.
I can state with absolute certainty that The Cricket Writers’ Club has never had a more loyal or faithful Member than Dicky – or, indeed, a prouder one. His CWC tie would be one of his most cherished possessions.
We loved Dicky, not only because of his passion for cricket and his closeness to his Press Box colleagues, but also for his deliciously irascible sense of humour.
Every Press Box in the land will have its own particular Dicky Rutnagur stories to relate and nowhere are they richer than in Yorkshire, especially those concerning his old adversary, Dick Williamson, from the mid-70s to the early 80s.
One of the most famous incidents took place at St George’s Road, Harrogate where Williamson had to unbolt the lower half of a wooden door in order to get from the Press Box to the scorers’ section to pick up details of the innings for Extel. He always managed to negotiate this low door without losing his trilby, but on one occasion when he went through this ritual, Dicky slid the bolt on ahead of Williamson’s return.
We could then hear growling, cursing and kicking as Williamson found his way back blocked. Just as he went into a shoulder charge on the door, Dicky released the bolt. Williamson came sprawling through with rage in his eyes, but in the end all he said to Dicky was, “Sit down and suck your orange” – much to Dicky’s amusement.
Upon my election as CWC President, a couple of months ago, one of the first calls I received on my return home was from Dicky, delighted at my good fortune and desperately sorry that he had been unable to attend. We reminisced for a good 15 minutes and trotted out all the old tales.
God bless, Dicky, we shall all miss you.
The Cricket Writers’ Club send deepest sympathy to his son, Richard, and all of Dicky’s family.
Funeral arrangements will be published as soon as they are known.