Aussie cricket legend Michael Clarke reels from the tragic loss of beloved grandfather who inspired him to play the sport: ‘We shared a bond like no other’
- Clarke’s grandfather Ray has died
- Said they ‘shared a bond like no other’
- Ray one of his greatest inspirations
Aussie cricket legend Michael Clarke is reeling from the death of his grandfather, Ray Fox, writing the pair ‘shared a bond like no other’.
The 41-year-old, who is part of a very close-knit family, shared a series of images on social media after being hit by another tragic death.
The ex-Aussie skipper has gone through the heartbreaking passing of two of his closest friends, Phillip Hughes and Shane Warne, in recent years – as well as the high-profile death of one-time mate and cricket great, Andrew Symonds.
Michael Clarke (right) is reeling from the tragic death of his grandfather Ray Fox (left, pictured alongside Clarke’s father Les)
When the 115-Test veteran and two-time World Cup winner retired from Tests, it was Ray who he mentioned first as his inspiration for playing.
‘Definitely telling my grandfather was perhaps the hardest part and he was very emotional,’ he wrote for News Corp in 2015.
‘Pop’s made it clear to me over the past 10 years that watching me play cricket is a big part of what keeps him going.
‘I tried not to let emotion overcome me – I’ve done too much crying over the years.’
Those beautiful words have now taken on a tragic twist with the news of Ray’s death.
Ray and wife Margaret were in Bangalore, India alongside Clarke’s parents Debbie and Les when he made a stunning 151 on his Test debut in 2004 aged just 23, stamping himself as one of the most prodigiously talented batters in a generation.
Ray Fox was brought to tears after Clarke’s incredible century on his Test debut in 2004
Clarke, pictured leaving the field after his last-ever Test, said telling his grandfather he was retiring was the toughest part
Les said at the time that the century brought Clarke’s grandfather to tears, such was the emotion in the moment.
‘I’ve never seen Pop cry before. When he started crying, everyone started crying. Our daughter, Leanne, was on the phone saying she’d seen Pop cry on the TV, so she was crying as well,’ he said in 2004.
The proud-as-punch grandfather could often be seen cheering on his grandson from the sidelines, even suffering injuries after a scary fall while he was watching Clarke play grade cricket in Sydney.
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