Never mind your highly paid professionals, this is what the pursuit of sport is really all about. At the back end of a soggy June, the Old Debonians (Deben High School Felixstowe, Old Boys Cricket Team) gathered to play the traditional opposition from the local Trades & Labour Club. Old Debonians has been going since we all left school back in 1983. Tender 18 year olds then. Wizened 42 year olds now.
Now when people talk of dedication, unless they speak of the lengths some go to in order to play in this annual event, they are missing the point entirely. Seamus flew in from Khazakstan. Paul from St Andrews. Tim from Leeds. I could go on. Myself, I travelled merely from Teddington to the wilds of Suffolk. And the bloody match was rained off to be replaced for some by a pool and darts tournament.
The point is this. In this world of sporting greed and hyped celebrity, there are those who still want to get together for a game that is more about friendship than the match itself. Where sport brings people back together and the game is played hard but always viewed in true perspective. From Steve who does all the work organising the venue, to all those who take the time out to keep the flame burning, to those who entertain on email and only rarely show their faces (yes, JBW, I’m talking about you) I salute you.
Same time next year, chaps?