By Charles Randall
12 April 2016
There will be a minute's silence before this summer's Club Cricket Conference Under-25 match against the Chris Gayle Academy after the death of Adrian St John at the age of 22.
The London cricket community was shocked this week by the news that St John had been shot in the head by robbers while on holiday in Trinidad. He played club cricket for Southern Railway & Kenley CC, captained the Gayle Academy as one of the first intake players and gave active support to the Cricket For Change charity project, part of the Change Foundation.
The CCC are due to play the Academy at Woodford Wells on 26 May. St John helped launch a Chris Gayle Academy project in Jamaica in 2013, visiting Kingston as a key player of the UK tour party.
Henry Glynn, development manager at The Change Foundation, worked closely with 'AJ' for the Jamaica trip. "This is where I really got to know AJ and saw first-hand the positive effect he could have on others around him," he said. "With infectious positive energy AJ had the ability to make people laugh and smile at will. He will be deeply missed. Our hearts and minds go out to all of Adrian’s family and friends at this terrible time.”
Donovan Miller, programme manager for the Chris Gayle Foundation, said: "I'm really finding it hard to come to terms with it, how someone could do something like that to such a lovely person." Chris Gayle himself tweeted his condolences.
Simon Prodger, chief executive of the National Cricket Conference, said: "What a senseless, tragic waste of a young life. I can barely believe it."
The Chris Gayle Foundation aims to improve access to good-quality education, training and employment for at-risk young people in Jamaica and the UK. The cricket academies offer young people a chance to play matches "as a focus for the development of their communication skills, teamwork and collective pride in their achievements".
The Change Foundation is a charity that engages with marginalised and at-risk young people through the power of sport and dance. Their stated aim: "We empower them, educate them, train them and then provide them with opportunities to lead their own programmes, develop their own ideas and ﬁnd new pathways to employment."
Adrian St John was a fine young man who did everything he could to help.