Like me many of you were no doubt shaken to the bone by the death of the much-loved popular music entertainer and former head of the British armed forces Sir Mike Jackson. That Jackson could hold down such a difficult job ensuring the provision of adequate military equipment for British forces fighting one of the 236 wars which have been started since the coming of the Blair, while simultaneously saving the world from famine, llama loving, appearing to move backwards while going forwards (or vice versa), having his hair burned during the production of an advert for carbonated water with vegetable extract in order to raise money to buy helicopters, and somehow managing to be the brother of a man with the third most ridiculous names for showbiz children. Truly, Jackson touched some of us – and all allegations were found not to have been proved, while a lover of peace and Sir Mike’s war record released white doves outside the court room (her previous appearance at Seoul had been less successful). And who can forget his songs? Like that one about the robin, his tribute to a former Wimbledon women’s singles champion, and the one about a clean shaven criminal, or the other one with the zombies – now that one even made Lenny Henry look funny. Verily, Sir Mike Jackson was the baby-dangling, mask-wearing, chimp owning weirdo of people’s hearts.
And yet, the world of sport remained silent. true some big bloke that played basketball told us an anecdote about chicken, but where were the minute silences? Jackson’s death had unfortunately fallen at a bad time of the football season – no games could be cancelled in his honour; and other sports remained mysteriously silent. Thank heavens then for the world of golf. There, Sir Mike Jackson received due tribute for all four days of the event. I can’t have been the only one watching in mute appreciation as golf’s silent tribute rolled on from the moment Ivor the engine announced "On the tee from England, Paul Broadhurst" through every "poop poop" until Stewart Cinked the final putt. That everyone in the field had taken to wearing a single white glove to mark the passing of the king of pop was an event so moving that a solitary tear trickled forlornly down my cheek – but only one tear, itself a kind of tribute.
And when Peter Alliss spoke of golf as a crusty game in his interminable homily over scenes of Stewart Cink holding the claret jug while the grandstands emptied behind him, we at home knew that golf was not crusty. It was a sport that loved Michael Jackson.