Former T&T and West Indies wicketkeeper Andy Ganteaume will be remembered for being an inspiration and leader to his family and former teammates. Ganteaume, who passed away on Wednesday at age 95, was laid to rest at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Abercromby Street in Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
Ganteaume remarkably ended his Test career with a batting average of 112, after playing only one Test match for West Indies against England in 1948 at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair. He represented T&T in 50 first class matches between 1940 and 1963, retiring with an average of 34.81 comprising five centuries and 17 fifties. Behind the stumps he had 37 dismissals (34 catches, three stumpings) at first class level. Ganteaume was also a national footballer.
Members of the sporting fraternity including former national footballer Sedley Joseph, and Ganteaume’s former T&T cricket teammates Alvin Corneal, Bryan Davis and Deryck Murray were all in attendance.
Paying tribute to their father were Jacqueline Ganteaume-Farrell and Rachel Ganteaume-Richards, two of his three daughters. They reflected on the times spent with their father, reading bedtime stories and praying with him before they went to sleep as children. Ganteaume, who has another daughter named Deborah, always ensured they spoke proper English and was involved in his children’s extra-curricular activities.
Former West Indies wicketkeeper Murray had the privilege of playing with him for T&T. “We are all at Queen’s Park very sad and we offer condolences to the family. I had the privilege of playing with him, which was the beginning of my career and the end of his,” Murray said. “He was very free when giving advice and words of wisdom. He was a real gentleman of the game.”
Former T&T and West Indies batsman Bryan Davis also reflected on the life of Ganteaume. Davis said Ganteaume came out of retirement to help a young T&T team in the 1960s.
“They brought him back in 1963 at age 42 to captain T&T. We were a young team at the time which included Deryck Murray, Alvin Corneal and myself. My generation learned a lot from him.”
President of the T&T Cricket Board, Azim Bassarath, extended condolences on behalf of the national cricket organisation saying that the game had lost someone who epitomised all that was elegant and noble in the game.
“He was a genuine gentleman, a gifted batsman who also represented his nation at football and will be remembered for always carrying himself with dignity and grace. Andy was a credit to the game, who in his later years served as a mentor to young cricketers offering advice and giving them the benefit of his vast knowledge and experience,” said Bassarath.