The oldest living cricketer in Central America?
The second stop on our journey took us south from Cancun, and ever so briefly out of Latin America. Belize, which won full independence in 1981, was the last British possession in the mainland Americas. As such, it can claim a long and distinctive cricketing culture – albeit one largely unknown outside of the Belize River valley.
To shed some light on it, we sought out Gilbert ‘Bertie’ Ellis at his home in Belize City – where he looked at least a quarter of a century younger than his 99 years. He retired from sport back in 1955.
Aside from spinning the ball both ways, and captaining the Rovers and Sussex club teams for several years, he also found the time to father 19 children, two of them keen cricketers.
Bertie’s tips for a long life: “No weed, no hard drinking, and lots of sport.”