In the Media
With Heavy Hearts we say Goodbye to Steve Baldry
The phrase “Time well spent leads to life well lived” perfectly sums up Steve Baldry who passed away recently, leaving a huge void in the Bay Oval and Western Bay of Plenty and Bay of Plenty cricket communities.
Steve was born in London, the eldest son of Sandra and Roger Baldry. He has three siblings John, Liz and Wendy. He grew up in Bracknell and Kent. Steve trained as a carpenter and had a partnership in a shop fitting company - mainly fitting out restaurants. He moved back to London during this time meeting his wife Liz. They had two sons Craig & Ross. The family moved to New Zealand in 2006 and immediately started enjoying the kiwi way of life. Steve loved sport, coaching the boys and spending Saturday watching cricket, football and even rugby.
Steve had boundless energy and enthusiasm for life and sport in particular, in which he made endless contributions to several Western Bay of Plenty sporting communities. He gave countless hours supporting local football and water polo, however it was his love of cricket from his early days living close to Lords Cricket Ground in London, which gave him great pleasure throughout his life.
Long-time Western Bay of Plenty Cricket Treasurer and Board member Paul Wills, said that Steve was an inaugural Board member a decade ago and was Chairman for three years between 2015 and 2018, then continuing on to be an active WBOPCA Board member to the day of his passing.
"Over the years Steve coached numerous club and WBOPCA representative age group teams, gave his time as an age group selector and ran the Western Bay Cricket age group trials as an impartial observer". "He was passionate about cricket and had a very common sense approach and wanted to ensure the game was open and available to all participants, no matter what their ability. He didn't mind getting his hands dirty and sorting it out if it was going to be a better outcome for the future of the game".
Steve was a cricket traditionalist at heart and in recent years spent many hours at the Bay Oval. Bay Oval General Manager Kelvin Jones said "Steve was a huge friend of the Bay Oval. He freely gave countless hours to help out, be it, assisting with the covers or making use of his wide range of handyman skills. He was always very positive and supportive of everything and everyone and had a real can-do attitude to life".
"Steve would regale us with stories of growing up right next to Lords Cricket Ground and how he used to work at Lords as a kid. He would tell us about a position at the ground called the 'Clerk of Works' who was the fix-it man and that he aspired to that position one day. We will always consider Steve as the Bay Oval 'Clerk of Works”."On reflection, it was special for us that a North London lad who grew up and worked at the 'Home of Cricket' should have had a big part in the inaugural test match at the world’s newest test ground, last year.
Well known Bay of Plenty and Western Bay Cricket Coach and Administrator, David Johnston, was another to have plenty of close contact with Steve. "I have known Steve for a number of years, but more especially over the last five cricket seasons through his involvement with the Bay Indoor Centre coaching facilities and his contributions at the Bay Oval". "Steve was a passionate caring man. He loved his family dearly, was so very proud of his boys, and was a real lover of all sport but especially his special loves in cricket and football".
"Over the past few cricket seasons he has become the 'go to' man at the Bay Oval - if something needed fixing it was "Give Steve a Call". Nothing was beyond his thinking and all repairs were done with a smile". "I will remember Steve as a fine man, good friend, a fantastic volunteer of the sports that he loved and as the 'Bay Oval Clerk of Works'.
Rob Cornelius from the Mount Maunganui Cricket Club, ran the Mount junior cricket program with Steve for a decade. "Steve loved sport especially cricket and football and was so proud to see his sons Craig and Ross take up sport and do so well". "Steve Baldry was the heart and soul of the MMCC Junior Cricket Club for the time that he was involved. He knew every youngster and always made a point of speaking to them and their parents with his infectious chuckle to make sure they were enjoying the moment". "He had a heart of gold and always had a story to tell, believing that sport was there to be enjoyed and loved".
"Everyone knew Steve. It would take him hours to walk around the Bay Oval at a big match, as everyone wanted to stop him and chat with him". "Steve can rest easy knowing that he left his mark on all that had the privilege of knowing him. He will be hugely missed".
Western Bay of Plenty Cricket Manager Don Warner remembers the former Western Bay Cricket Chairman and Board member as reliable and understanding to new ideas. "Once he made up his mind on something - he stuck to it". "He was very passionate about Bay of Plenty age-group cricket especially the Coastlands representative programs". "On a personal basis, we had plenty of friendly banter over his football team, in Chelsea, and my beloved Manchester United'.
We will leave the last word to Rana Collett, current Chair, of Western Bay of Plenty Cricket. “Having known Steve for a number of years through both football and cricket, it was a pleasure to join the WBOPCA Board when he was Chairperson”.
“Never one to shy away from making the tough calls, Steve was a strong, tireless advocate for our local cricketers. He offered an impartial opinion when selections of teams were being made, and was instrumental in establishing the Colts programme (since renamed SuperClub). This has been a key pathway for our youth to enter into Club cricket”.
“It was an honor to work with Steve and he left huge boots to fill when I was elected as Chairperson. His support of me was always greatly appreciated”.“Steve is one of the kindest and most generous people I have met. His passing has already left a significant hole in our local cricketing community. Steve wasn't just a fellow Board member, but someone that I considered a good friend. I pass on all of our sincere condolences to Liz, Craig and Ross, and the rest of his family”.
A celebration of Steves life will be held at the Bay Oval on Friday 3rd July at 3.00pm all welcome.