Last Sunday Jeff Crompton’s ashes were scattered with due ceremony on the first team pitch. There followed a “fossils” match between some of the older club members; long hung up boots having been dusted off. Former colleagues of Jeff unable to play joined family and friends in an enthusiastic crowd to enjoy proceedings. Most players ranged from 40 to 71 with the the eldest on the oldies, The Real Deals, with chief selector Dave Nic confined to the Young Pretenders!
Danny Taylor volunteered for the dubious task of refereeing several wily manipulators of the laws (mentioning no names: Dutty, Thorpey, the Flems (Frank and Paul)) but it was Willie Dore who was marked down for special attention, “victimised” says he, pinged three times in a single passage of play. It was a lively match stretching a few forgotten muscles as play spread across the pitch allowing Daves Nic and Walton to show a turn of foot.Tunny raised the biggest cheer of the day, breaking through on a trademark romp, before suddenly performing a Devon Loch, as if diving into an imaginary pool. Tries were scored and the Pretenders eased ahead however the Real Deals rallied and struck back. But eventually their lack of experience paid off as the youngsters prevailed with two late scores.
Doyen Brian Griiffiths ( just 71 years young) summed up the mindset of the players remarking to Dan “it takes it out of you all this rucking and mauling!” Proving that you may get older and slower but put the boots on and the old desires still surface. Thanks to all who came and to the players with who I’ve not already name checked Paul Thornley, Parkys snr and jnr, Sam, Gary, Glen, Jack, James, Clive, Reece, Steve, Jordan, Andy and Spoons.
On an uplifting day, I am sure Jeff would have approved as his spirit was carried to all corners of the pitch.
Report by Henryk Getz