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October 13, 2008

Hadley Wood Green Sports Celebrates 100 Years

(Southgate Masonic Centre 7.30pm on Saturday 11th October)

On Saturday evening, Rob Orange and I attended the Centenary Dinner of our great friends and cricketing rivals Hadley Wood Green Sports. It was a privilege to be invited and a pleasure to be there. We caught up with skipper, run-machine and general Chigwell thorn-in-the-side Dan Blake, 'Big' Mike Davey, off-spinner and thespian Graham Sawtell and a host of other familiar faces including, of course, Jim Wallace.  Jim announced his retirement from active playing service at the end of this season, after finally scoring a century for the club (although that is, apparently, coincidental in the decision). No one seems to believe he'll go through with it, but whatever he decides to do next April, the players, friends and families gathered at the Southgate Masonic Centre paid grateful tribute to Jim's work for the club over the years.

The formal entertainment was provided by Geoff 'Dusty' Miller. His after-dinner speech recalled events from his playing days with Derbyshire, Essex and England to hilarious effect. His impression of Goochie was up there with Mike Yarwood and, er, Dermot Reeve.

Rob and I also had some discussions about a new, informal league with some of the HWGS players and the South Loughton boys who were there as guests.  There was some interest in the idea, which we said we would take forward. 

Summary: a splendid evening had by all.



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