The Post and Telecommunications Department and the George Headley Centenarian Planning Committee launched a set of commemorative stamps marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of West Indian cricket icon, the late George Alphonso Headley, on Friday (September 25).
The set, featuring stamps with images covering the career of one of the finest batsmen of all times, was formally unveiled during the ceremony at the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon Olivia Grange, said that the launch of the stamps was a historic event, and commended the Post and Telecommunications Department for producing them.
“We believe that introducing a postage stamp marking the 100th anniversary of his birth is a most fitting tribute,” the Minister said in a message delivered by Senior Director in the Ministry, Florette Blackwood.
Son of legendary Jamaican and West Indies cricketer George Headley, Lindley Headley (left) and his wife, Carmen (centre), accepting a framed copy of postage stamps honouring George Headley, from Acting Postmaster General, Glennamoe McNabb. Occasion was the launch of postage stamps in commemoration of the former West Indies captain on the 100th anniversary of his birth, on Friday (September 25) at the Institute of Jamaica, downtown Kingston.
She added that Headley’s tremendous talent brought immense satisfaction and enjoyment to West Indians. She also noted that achievements of such “stalwarts” should be an inspiration for future generations.
Principal Director, Information and Telecommunications, Office of the Prime Minister, Jo-Anne Archibald, noted that the launch sought to recognise the contribution of the cricket legend.
“George Headley was truly one of the greatest batsmen of all times and, many maintain, the greatest West Indian batsman to date, who is without comparison playing in unfavourable weather conditions,” she said.
Giving a brief synopsis of his many pioneering achievements in the game, she noted that Headley was the first West Indian to score a century on his test debut, which was in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1930.
Representation of the postage stamps that were officially unveiled in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late West Indies cricketer George Alphonso Headley, on Friday (September 25) at the Institute of Jamaica, downtown Kingston.
“He was the first player to score four test centuries before the age of 21, and was the first West Indian to score a century in each innings of a test match; to name a few of his achievements,” she added.
She commended the Department for celebrating his achievement by issuing the stamps, noting that the department sets the standard for recognising and celebrating the best of Jamaica.
Lindley Headley, son of the late cricketer and a former Jamaican sprint Olympian, expressed appreciation for the “great gesture and honour”.
“If he was here today, he would have been touched and moved. In fact, he would have been in tears right now,” he said.
Universally acknowledged as one of the finest batsmen of all times, George Headley’s career batting average in test cricket was an exceptional 60.83, the third highest of any player with a completed career and only trailing Australia’s Sir Don Bradman and South Africa’s Graeme Pollock.
He was born in Panama on May 30, 1909, to a Jamaican father, who went there to help build the Panama Canal. He came to Jamaica at the age of ten and played for the national team, regionally, and the West Indies, internationally.
He was the first black captain of the West Indies cricket team. He died in November, 1983 at the age of 74 in Kingston. He was posthumously inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on September 6. The stamps form part of the celebrations marking his 100th birthday.