County Cricketers Golfing Society
Having been afforded the honour of being elected captain of the County Cricketers' Golf Society, it falls to me to pen this year's Captain's message. As you may know, like my predecessors Messrs Osman, Ross & Burns, I am a man of few words, so I shall endeavour to be concise!
It is indeed a privilege to follow, as Captain of the County Cricketers' Golfing Society, in the footsteps of so many illustrious cricketers. Some played for, or even captained, England. I represented England at schoolboy level but that's as far as it goes. But that's the beauty of our great society. Some may have scored Ashes centuries, others may have only played a handful of first class matches, but, as former society Captain Denis Amiss said to me when I arrived at one of my first games for the society, "We all have one thing in common. We have all played first class cricket." It really doesn't matter how far we went in the professional game. We have that common bond. This society allows us to rekindle old friendships and forge new ones, something for which I will be forever grateful.
Looking down the list of former captains you will see that it reflects the very diversity in the membership I have alluded to. There are ex-England captains, ex-county cricketers, Gentlemen and Players. What unites them is their cricketing background and their love of two great games, namely cricket and golf. I noticed, in particular, the names of Simpson and Parfitt on that list. Reg was a fine cricketer and golfer. He was still a member at Radcliffe-on-Trent GC, venue for one of the society's newest fixtures, when I joined that golf club as a junior. I knew him best, however, as the man who ran Gunn & Moore and provided me with my cricket bats. My connection with Peter Parfitt is more indicative of the way our society breaks down all boundaries and brings together cricketers of all abilities and all generations.
"Parf" joined us at Hunstanton in March, not to play golf, but to catch up with old friends. I reminded him that this was not the first time we had met and he agreed to have his picture taken with me, the same as he had done on that first occasion. I told him I wanted to compare pictures to see if either of us had changed. When/where was that first picture taken? Trent Bridge, August 1965. England v South Africa. Parf got 86 in the 2nd innings but couldn't prevent a South African victory. I was the 10 year old boy photographed by the local paper getting Parf's autograph on the pavilion steps. Little did we know!
It is not always the best player who is the best Captain. I am not the best golfer in the society. I was not the best cricketer. Nor do I expect to be the best Captain. I am, however, very much looking forward to taking on the role of Society Captain. We are lucky to play at such fantastic courses throughout the year, starting at Rye in February and ending at Royal St George's in October. I plan to play in as many as I can and hope to see as many of you as I can along the way. I'll be the one in the motorhome!
Here's to a 2023 full of birdies, eagles and beers!