David Hookes 1955 - 2004

'An instant hero'

Wisden Cricinfo staff

January 19, 2004

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Rod Marsh former Australia team-mate and current England Academy coach

In many ways, I wish I'd been there on Sunday night, and been able to step in. As a young man Hookesy was always very outspoken - he was known as the bumptious brat of Dulwich while playing club cricket in England. But it seems that all he was doing was defending a player's wife, who was being spoken to rudely by someone in the bar. He always stood up for his players, and you don't deserve to die for that.

He'll forever be famous for those five fours in the Centenary Test, but they were all genuine cricket shots, and make no mistake, he could play. When he was on the attack, he was very dangerous indeed. Perhaps he wasn't a great player of spin, but there have been a lot of blokes of lesser ability who've played a lot more Tests than Hookes. He made a lot of friends and had a very high profile in cricket. He will be sadly missed.

Dean Jones former Australian batsman

I came up against Hookesy on many occasions for Victoria, the most famous time was when he cracked a 34-ball hundred for South Australia after a poor declaration. He could be devastating at times, and was very moody with the bat, although he'd have been disappointed with his eventual Test record.

World Series Cricket might have set him back, but I think his footwork went after he'd been cleaned up by an Andy Roberts bouncer, and had his jaw broken in three places. But I'm just in shock - he'd only gone out to celebrate a win with his mates and their wives. You don't expect that sort of thing to happen in Australia. Life can be bloody shocking at times.

Tony Greig former England captain and opponent on Hookes' Test debut

I'm stunned. It's absolutely horrific news, and the sort of thing you fear might happen to your kids after a night out. But when it happens to your friends, the shock is every bit as bad. He became an instant hero to 70,000 cricket fans at Melbourne on his debut, when he showed England - and me in particular - just what a fighting batsman he could be. I remember fielding at silly point when the youngster arrived, and I tried to niggle him a bit, as you do. But he was unfazed, and hit me for five fours in a row.

I later got to know him through the work he did in cricket. He was a really nice guy who had a broad cross-section of interests.

Bob Merriman Cricket Victoria President and Cricket Australia chairman

David was one of those rare, gifted athletes and people who instantly captured attention, whether it was through his aggressive batting, inspiring captaincy, aggressive coaching or his forthright commentary. It is well known that David was an outstanding sportsman from the start and he demonstrated this at an early age for South Australia, who he eventually captained to a Sheffield Shield title, for Australia and also during the World Series Cricket era.

Darren Berry Victorian Bushrangers captain

David has been both a friend and mentor to us all and we are devastated at his passing. His impact on the group has been broad and under his leadership we have learnt much, not only about cricket but equally about life.

Wayne Clarke Western Australia coach

David was a tremendous person and I am deeply saddened by his untimely death. I played and coached against Hookesy and he was a tough-as-nails character that was still the first person into the rooms for a beer after the game. He was respected by all who met him for the way he played the game. He gave so much to the sport as a player and then as a coach, he will be sorely missed.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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