South Africa memorial for Woolmer
April 5, 2007
A MEMORIAL service has taken place in South Africa for Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer, whose death in Jamaica last month is believed to be murder.
Several hundred mourners were at the service at a school in Cape Town, where Woolmer's wife and two sons live.
"He was a players' coach. He was my mentor," said former South Africa fast bowler Allan Donald as he arrived.
Woolmer was found dead in his Kingston hotel on March 18, the day after his side lost to Ireland in the World Cup.
The ex-England batsman's body remains in Jamaica pending a coroner's inquiry.
Mourners packed into Wynberg Boys' High School hall - the school where Woolmer discovered South Africa's formidable all-rounder Jacque Kallis.
The service was led by an Anglican priest, Reverend Jerome Francis, who was himself coached by Woolmer from the age of 11.
The walls of the hall were lined with posters of a smiling Bob Woolmer.
Cricket author Tim Noakes, who was writing a book with Woolmer on the art and science of cricket, denied there had been any mention of match-fixing in the book.
Fighting back tears, he described the coach as a "cricketing missionary" and the game's "moral compass".
Woolmer's widow Gill and their two sons Dale and Russell arrived at the service surrounded by players Woolmer had coached.
Bob Woolmer's association with Cape Town began more than 25 years ago when he first started coaching in some of the local townships.
"He put South Africa on the map and we'll remember him for that," Donald said.
Fellow South African player Paul Adams said: "He's still the most successful coach South Africa ever had. We have lost a great soldier in the game."
Another memorial service was held in Pakistan on Sunday.
A team of UK police officers is in Jamaica to help the inquiry into Woolmer's death.
The three Scotland Yard detectives and a scenes-of-crime officer will review the inquiry following a formal request from the Jamaican authorities.
Scotland Yard said: "This is normal practice for a review to take place a short time after the commencement of an investigation.
"The Jamaican Constabulary Force remains the primary investigating force."
Pakistan is also sending as an observer senior police investigator Mir Zubair Mahmood, who led the investigation into the murder of U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi. (BBC Sport)