Tuesday 22 August 2017


No sooner do I mention Michael Parkinson, see yesterday on Lulu, than the ghost at the feast arrives. Geoffrey Boycott turns up to do a foot in mouth turn at a hospitality dinner saying that a knighthood for him might depend on colour.

Many once famous sports persons and others are now in the business of after dinner speaking to audiences they hope are there to listen to what they have to say. Up to a point, that is, and with Geoffrey perhaps it is a little like letting a hungry Yorkshire Terrier off the leash.

It took him ten little words, Geoffrey does not do long ones, for him to misjudge the flight of the ball. Instead of just patting it back for the umpteenth time to bore the crowd stiff he took a verbal swipe which flattened his wickets and has been declared out.

Parkinson comes from Cudworth by Barnsley. Boycott is from Fitzwilliam, by Hemsworth, a short bus journey away on the road to Pontefract. This could be described as the epicentre of Yorkshire man and for that matter women.

However, the name Boycott is not necessarily local. The Wikipedia and Britannica articles on Captain Charles Boycott 1832-1897, whose name was given to the practise of ostracising individuals, that is boycotting them, suggest that the surname comes from migrant Huguenots expelled from France in 1685 because of their Protestant religious beliefs.

It could be that Geoffrey is of migrant refugee stock. The fact that he is not a knight whereas some West Indian cricketers are may be more to do with the catalogue of pungent Geoffreyism's and arguments he has had from down the years than anything else.

So will Geoffrey Boycott live up to his name?

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