While sipping my morning coffee and reading the newspaper as per my normal practice, a headline titled ďQuick grab for Hookes websiteĒ caught my immediate interest. The article refers to the recent registration of the domain name www.davidhookes.com by an individual named as Paul Drunmall. The article goes on to mention recent attempts by Mr Drunmall to onsell the name via Ebay to the highest bidder.
Aghast at the audacity of any person prepared to cash in on the name of David Hookes in such an insensitive manner, I was very offended that a person would do such a thing, especially at a time when the Hookes family would no doubt still be grieving for their lost father and partner. The article concluded with the passage that Mr Drunmall ďdidnít want to show disrespectĒ and that ďheíd be happy if he got $20 for it.Ē
After giving the article some thought and coming to the conclusion that the domain name might end up in the hands of an unscrupulous individual prepared to profit from its ongoing trade, I contacted Mr Drunmall via email and expressed interest in obtaining the domain name with the view to passing it back to the Hookes family, who I see as being the only people entitled to it and I must say, I did not anticipate that I would receive a positive response to my email, but a very positive response it was. In fact, I received a very prompt phone call from Mr Drunmall, who informed me that he not only regretted his rash action in having registered the domain name, but he had also meant no harm in doing so. He informed me that he merely was astounded with the fact the name wasnít already registered and thought he might be able to capitalise on this, factors he now very much regrets, more so considering the hate mail he has received and the many threats.
Drunmall, not only seemed to genuinely regret his actions, but continued to offer his apologies to all concerned for the consternation he had caused and said he was willing to relinquish ownership of the domain name without wanting any payment for it, had he known what trouble it would cause, he would never have registered it in the first place.
With an exchange of formalities, Mr Drunmall has now transfered ownership of the domain name to Abc of Cricket and no longer has any association with the name www.davidhookes.com
At the completion of the transfer, Cricket Victoria who is the governing body of cricket in the State of Victoria was contacted with the news that the domain name has been acquired and that Abc of Cricket would like to pass this on to the Hookes family out of respect to them and the memory of David. Cricket Victoria Media Manager Mr Cameron Matthews said: ďinitially we were stunned that someone would do such a thing and find it disgraceful that an individual would try to profit from the recent sad loss of David, we just didnít contemplate that someone might do such a thing, itís not the sort of thing you would think about at such a time.Ē When told that the domain name had been acquired with the view to passing it on to the family he was more than relieved and said; ďhe would make the relevant arrangements for the family to be informed of this through Davidís former manager and friend Rob Zadow.Ē
No doubt, it wasnít just mere luck that allowed us to rescue the domain name, but also the fact that Mr Drunmall was genuinely remorseful for his actions. Had it been any other individual, they just might have been absolutely intent on profiting from this exercise and 100% determined to ensure they made bucks. Mr Drunmall informs me that he was made several very lucrative offers for the name, but turned all these down in favour of doing the right thing. A point Mr Drunmall should be commended for and not condemned or threatened. He made a simple mistake and came close to paying dearly for it.
If there is a lesson to be learnt from these happenings it is this, if you are a cricket player or have a famous name associated with the sport of cricket or any other for that matter, then you should GET your name registered NOW! If you donít, then donít be surprised if a website crops up that you neither sanction nor control. Your name is what you are and what will be attractive to sponsors and promoters the world over....so why risk it and let some fool cash in. It doesnít matter if you have the intention of publishing a website or not, but you should protect your best assett...YOU! Registering a domain name is a simple process that takes minutes and costs as little as $10-$15. So do it now! There are a squillion domain registers out there, but for those of you who donít know where to start, you might want to visit GoDaddy. However, donít be surprised if someone already owns what you think should be yours.
The domain name was offered to the Hookes family without a request for fee or reward via Cricket Victoria by our Editor Shane Dell soon after this issue broke, however to date (06/05/2005) we have never heard back from either Cricket Victoria, the Hookes family or anyone associated with same. One can only wonder about the outcry caused by the person who initially acquired the domain name and why such a fuss was created by newspapers who picked up on the story...oh yes thatís right....headlines sell papers! As a result of the lack of interest in the domain name, we simply let it expire and whoever is fortunate enough to grab it this time around, good luck to them.