Legendary cricket commentator Henry Blofeld is retiring from the BBC’s Test Match Special team after nearly half a century — sparking an outpouring of emotional tributes. Known affectionately as “Blowers”, Blofeld, 77, has charmed followers of the programme with his old-world approach to the job, with observations on London buses and pigeons as important as the action on the field. Blofeld’s final stint will be the Lord’s Test between England and West Indies starting on September 7.
“All good things come to an end,” said Blofeld. “After nearly 50 years in the Test Match Special commentary box, I have decided the time has come for the last of the old farts to hang up his microphone.
“In all honesty, at the age of almost 78, although I am still rather keener than mustard, I find it harder work than I once did. And I wouldn’t want to let TMS down.”
— Henry Blofeld (@blowersh) 23 June 2017
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) 23 June 2017
Former England captain and fellow commentator Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Many players have bought joy to thousands but I can’t think of anyone who has bought more joy to the airwaves than @blowersh #MyDearOldThing.”
A tweet from the England cricket team’s official account read: “Thanks for the memories @blowersh and all the best in your retirement.”
Jonathan Agnew, who has shared a commentary box with Blofeld for many years, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’ll miss Henry, his enthusiasm, his company, his chaos. Henry is one of those characters that really set up Test Match Special. It’s the legacy of people like him who in the 70s and 80s really developed this style of programme thatpeople have been trying to copy ever since, including me.”
Blofeld said his favourite memory behind the microphone was the 1981 Ashes Test at Headingley when Ian Botham and Bob Willis secured England a thrilling victory against Australia.