Cayman Islands cricket pioneer Tommy Thompson passed away over the weekend in Ontario, Canada, after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. He was 70 years old.
Three-time Olympian Kareem Streete-Thompson, Thompson’s son, told the Cayman Compass the passing of his father was unexpected.
“When I got the phone call, it was an absolute shock,” said Streete-Thompson. “He had his illnesses previously, but he got through all of them, and when he was diagnosed with COVID, the expectation was that he would get through it, too.”
The former Cayman cricket player passed away 25 April, in Brampton City, Ontario.
“He was the ultimate sportsman,” said Streete-Thompson. “He has been involved in sports in many different areas. My earliest memories with him were on the football pitch but his best days involved cricket; watching him do his thing with the Greenies in England.”
Streete-Thompson is considered one of the most accomplished Caymanian track and fielders, perhaps a surprise to many considering his father was all-in on cricket.
“He did try to get me to play cricket and football, but track and field was where my passion was,” he said.
Streete-Thompson said outside of sports, Thompson, who was also the father of Robert and Reginald Thompson, was the rock of his family.
“So, anyone that knows my father, knows that he has been the pillar of strength,” he said. “Everybody knows that he was always vibrant, always alive and anyone around him always felt at ease.”
Cayman Cricket issued a statement to the Compass acknowledging Thompson’s contributions; they hope to honour him during future events.
“Traditionally, we used to have a memorial game in which we remember all members of the cricketing community who had died,” said Cayman Cricket vice- president Ricardo Roach.
“We also recently lost Packa Barrett, who was huge in cricket here; we definitely recognise their contributions at the Annual General Meeting.”