The 11-year-old son of the late Aussie cricket star Dean Jones, Koby Dean Hamilton, had a nine-word response when his mom told him that his dad had died.
“It’s OK, mum,” Koby told Kerri-Anne Hamilton, a flight attendant whom Jones met at the end of the 1990s before having a decade-long secret affair. “I know my dad loved me.”
The Hamiltons stayed silent out of respect, as Jones’ wife of more than 30 years, Jane, and their daughters, Isabella and Phoebe, publicly mourned the Victorian hero in the 48 hours following his death in India after suffering from cardiac arrest.
But today, Kerri-Anne spoke out, saying it was necessary for Koby to be heard because his dad was his hero.
“It’s an awful time for his wife and his other kids. I’m not trying to step out of line. I want to speak to you for Koby,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I don’t want Koby to go to school and for kids to say, ‘We didn’t see you, how do we know you were his son?’ He deserves acknowledgment.”
Koby had Face-Timed with Jones as recently as two days before his death, where his father showed him around the Indian commentary booth in which he worked and had colleague Brett Lee, who valiantly tried to resuscitate Jones, say hello.
“Koby would always wait with such anticipation for Dean to call,” Kerri-Anne said. “He looked up to him and he would have questions written down to ask him because he was so knowledgeable. They’d talk stats for ages and he’d mentor him in his sport; how to swing (the bat), how to think.
“He always said he would give anything to have a relationship with Koby, but he never wanted to hurt anyone. He put everything on the line for us and I’ll never forget that. I know it’s so complicated, but his dedication to Koby and all his kids it says everything … He gave Koby a voice and he had a voice in his life. Right now (Koby) is shocked. He was so proud of his dad. His dad was, is and will always be his hero.”