Lloyd James (1937-2019)

  • Mr Optimistic: Lloyd James
  • A giant of a cricketer: Lloyd James

A Cup Match legend and former Progressive Labour Party MP passed away at the weekend.

Lloyd James died at the age of 82.

Betty James, Mr James’s wife, said her husband of nearly 59 years was a sincere man, but that he knew how to joke around.

She said: “He could tell a story and make things up as he went along.”

Joanne Rego, Mr James’s daughter, said her father was a “real family man” with a great sense of humour.

She said: “He loved to tell tales, jokes, make people laugh, pull pranks. He liked to spin tales.”

Ms Rego said, in addition to his noteworthy cricket career, her father played golf, gardened and had enjoyed fishing with his brothers in his younger years.

Tim James. Mr James’s nephew, said his uncle was a “gentle giant”.

Mr James explained: “He never had to raise his voice. He was very tender, very kind.

“He was always pleasant, he always had a smile on his face. He was always Mr Optimistic.”

He added that his uncle was a “true gentleman and a true sportsman”.

Mr James held the record for the highest individual score in Cup Match in 1962 with 173 not out for St George’s, which passed the previous record of 170 not out set by Timmy Edwards.

Mr James’s record stood for 39 years before Janeiro Tucker passed the milestone in 2001.

He scored 988 runs from 28 innings in a Cup Match career that spanned 19 years before he retired in 1974 — only 12 runs short of being the first batsman to score 1,000 runs in the annual classic.

Mr James was inducted into the Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

He was elected to represent Warwick East alongside Walter Brangman in December 1980 under the former two-seat constituency system.

A PLP spokeswoman said the party “joins the community in mourning” Mr James’s death.

David Burt, the Premier, said that Mr James was a “true gentleman”.

He added: “His dominance in the game of cricket was matched with his time in representative politics when he served the people of Warwick at a time when to do so on behalf of the PLP required unique sacrifice.

“Whether in business, education or sports, Lloyd James served with distinction.”

Sports minister Lovitta Foggo said: “Mr James was admired as an icon of our sporting fraternity. He was an outstanding cricketer who represented Bermuda with dignity and grace.

“Lloyd James was not only a great cricketer he was also an outstanding golfer and his poise on the greens was truly admired. Bermuda and our sporting community have lost a legend.”

Craig Cannonier, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, said that the death of Mr James was a loss for the island.

He said: “We have lost a great ambassador for Bermuda and for Bermudians.”

Mr Cannonier added: “Lloyd was a good friend of mine and I grew up admiring him as one of the best cricketers Bermuda produced.”

He also founded James Water Services with his older brother, Winfield, in 1979.

Mr James had five brothers and sisters — Elvin, the former PLP Cabinet Minister and Cup Match player, Leon and Winfield, Lillian Grant and Cynthia Lightbourne.

He is survived by Betty, daughters Joanne and Ria Mayes, and four grandchildren.