This week we received the devastating news that our teammate and friend, Jon Prowse, has passed away. One of his closest friends, Arup, has written this moving tribute which we would like to share.
Jon Prowse, a very special friend…
JP: Pass me the ratchet screwdriver please…
AV: What’s a ratchet?
AV: Yeah, what does it look like?
JP: It’s a wonderful tool…, one of my favourites. It has wheel on one end that has angled teeth
AV: Oh yeah, where is it?
JP: To your left, third shelf from top
JP: No, don’t look at me you muppet, look where I am pointing instead
AV: Ah yes, can’t find it man
JP: Oh for goodness sake…
He gets up feeling annoyed and locates the ratchet screwdriver and says… “here.. look… Left and third shelf from top! How do you do what you do at work? Why do they pay you?”
Jon was incredibly patient with me. Numerous evenings were spent in the garage tinkering with his beloved Lotus Elise. I was mostly in the awe of the man who could seemingly do anything. Really, he could! He could engineer the s**t out of anything. He was convinced that one day he will convert me into a half decent mechanic. He never gave up. A tirelessly assiduous man who once took on a task, be it a car, rebuilding the engine in the Elise, putting up doors or indeed a good curry and a pint, would eventually accomplish it with aplomb. He hunted down perfection.
Unsurprisingly, at times lack of perfection would cause him huge dissatisfaction with the world around him. Many evenings he would meticulously put his case forward and explain current state of affairs and propose possible solutions. Some of these ideas were excellent, some pragmatic, some slightly over the top and some just simply crazy. However, it was plain to see that Jon wanted a better world. A world where people were kind to each other, a world free of exploitation, a world free of manipulative people, a world at peace. And of course, a world with a lot more “decent” drivers and loud cars!
Jon loved people and being around people. He joined Royal Ascot Cricket Club five years ago and quickly became the go-to man to get things done. He simply got on with the job, got things done to make the club and the facilities better for all. All this, despite the fact that he hardly ever got regular opportunities to play the beautiful game on the ground that he loved so much. Many of us may not realise but if we look around we will find traces of Jon’s selfless and thoughtful deeds.
Notwithstanding his regular bouts of depression which he used to get through thanks to a bunch of very close supportive friends, Jon was infectiously joyful and childish like a small puppy. He loved snowboarding, cricket and cars with a passion.
Sadly, and unexpectedly he decided to leave us alone in his quest to find a world free from exploitation, a world without war, a world based on equality, a world that is fair and kind. And of course a world full of those white snowy mountains and the smooth black tarmacs with beautiful fast and flowing chicanes.
You gave me, and no doubt countless others, so many happy memories and joy…. You are etched into our hearts and minds forever. And when I am done here, I’ll come and find you up there and put in a few fast laps together.
Rest in peace my dear friend xxx
9th June 2016
The whole club send their deepest sympathies to his family. I had the privilege of skippering Jon in his last couple of matches with us this season. As a bona fide first slip fielder I enjoyed the times standing next to him when he was wicket keeping and his banter made the time spent in the field fly past.
A great clubman, he offered his services to help fix or mend whatever was needed around the club including salvaging and creating one decent sightscreen from two sightscreens damaged when we had a mini hurricane in the grounds!
His batting practice in the nets at the club used to infuriate every bowler as he would try and demolish and smash every ball for six – in total contrast to his batting style on the pitch! Many the time I have had to trudge up the ground to retrieve a ball that he had smashed off my bowling.
Last season, as well as the club having a season to remember, it was also a great season for Jon. He made his highest ever score with a 123 against Theale & Tilehurst 3s in a league match which included 17 fours and 4 sixes.
He made over 500 runs with three 50s as well as that exceptional hundred, helped the 3rd XI win the division title and the Harding Cup for most improved player of the season.
It was fitting that his last 50 for the club this season epitomised his commitment as a great clubman. He opened the innings and started slowly, seeing off the new ball but also rotating the strike as Jack and Gary were scoring at a fast rate. However, when they were out he then took on the mantle of scoring quickly, especially as the rain was coming in, and batting bonus points were at stake. He sacrificed his wicket in the search of quick runs so that we were able to make 175. This led to a great win despite the inclement weather.
You will be in our thoughts when we play this weekend and we’ll dedicate the rest of the season in your honour – and let us all find that puppyish enthusiasm that you had for the game.