Nothing brings home to me the very fleeting nature of life on this planet to me quite like the premature deaths of professional sportsmen whose health and fitness is far beyond the rest of us. The deaths of the likes of Ben Hollioake and Marc-Vivien Foe made an indelible mark on me, as did the deaths this week of two more sportsmen:
Paul Hunter was a Yorkshire snooker player, an uncharacteristicly young, fit and healthy example of his profession. He famously had sex with wife Lindsey in the breaks of all three Masters finals he won (in each case he was behind before the sex). Paul died on Tuesday at the age of 27 as a result of stomach cancer.
Cory Lidle was a major-league baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees (4-3 since joining the Yankees). He joined the Yankees from the Philadelphia Phillies in July this year, having previously played for the New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinatti Reds. On Wednesday, Lidle was one of four people who died when his aeroplane crashed into a fifty-storey aparment building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City.
Both Hunter and Lidle leave behind a wife and son. My best wihes go out to them and also to the families of the others who died in the same plane crash as Lidle.