When New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham was trying to get his team over the line in the Super Over of the World Cup final against England, his high school teacher and formative coach David Gordon breathed his last back home.
Neesham and Martin Guptill were in the thick of things at Lord's on Sunday when Gordon passed away due to a heart ailment.
Needing 16 to win the title in that super over, New Zealand scored one less for a tie in the arguably the greatest World Cup final, missing out eventually on boundary count.
Gordon's daughter Leonie said that her father, who was lying on a hospital bed, wanted to depart the way he did.
"One of the nurses came in for the final over, the super over, and she said his breathing is changing. You know, I think Jimmy Neesham had just hit that six and he took his last breath," she was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.
"He has a quirky sense of humour and he was a real character and he would have loved the fact that he did that," said Leonie.
Neesham paid tribute to his Auckland Grammar teacher and coach on social media.
Dave Gordon, my High School teacher, coach and friend. Your love of this game was infectious, especially for those of us lucky enough to play under you. How appropriate you held on until just after such a match. Hope you were proud. Thanks for everything. RIP
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) July 17, 2019
"Dave Gordon, my High School teacher, coach and friend. Your love of this game was infectious, especially for those of us lucky enough to play under you. How appropriate you held on until just after such a match. Hope you were proud. Thanks for everything. RIP," he tweeted on Thursday.
Gordon's daughter felt it was a touching gesture from the Black Caps player.
"It was lovely, you know, he's kept in touch with Jimmy and he is friends with Jimmy's father. He always had a soft spot for Jimmy Neesham, he was very proud of him. He would definitely be following his career," she said.
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