Jaqui's Daily Blog

Sporting Memories

Mr B, as regular readers know, is something of a Sports Fanatic. I can’t, off the top of my head, think of a single sport in which he doesn’t have an interest. 


In his time he has played football, cricket, table tennis, golf, bowls (both indoor and outdoor) and been an extremely good swimmer in his youth (before, he freely admits, he discovered girls.) He was also a ball-boy at Wimbledon for three years running, ending up on Centre Court in 1960 when Neale Fraser beat Rod Laver to lift the trophy. Such a sporting fan indeed, that he was prepared to spend out an inordinate amount of money in order to get tickets for the 2012 Olympics - though, as that was for Super Saturday, when Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford all scored gold, you will never hear me complaining. I have often commented that should Tiddleywinks become an Olympic sport, Mr B would follow it avidly. 


He has amassed a number of trophies over the years - notably the wooden trophy shaped as a figure one, with a golf ball at the centre, made for him by a golfing friend to mark the occasion when he scored a hole in one at Rustington golf course. Of all his awards, this is the one that is still on show in the living room cabinet, the one he will frequently draw visitors’ attention to. Somewhere upstairs in a wardrobe is a cardboard box full of cups and medals from his sporting days on / in a field, a pitch, a court or  swimming pool. 


Here is a true story which sums up Mr B’s approach to sport. It concerns the time he took up table tennis, more than thirty years ago - a sport he hadn’t played since his teens. In his first season back at the table tennis table, he only won one match, though he came pretty close at times. After each match he would return home saying he had lost once again - but that it had been a “terrific match.” For Mr B it has always been about the way a match is played that matters even more than the result. 


It’s been frustrating in the extreme, therefore, not to be able to be an active participant in his favourite sports any more. Thank goodness for televised sport to keep my Sporting Fanatic happy. Though the last few weeks have seen, shall we say, a Surfeit of Sport? Mr B would, of course, disagree...


Now I have come across what sounds like the perfect weekly club for my sportsman. I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s surgery for what seemed like ages last week - the nurse admitted when I finally saw her that she had mixed up the time of my appointment. If I hadn’t had to wait then I wouldn’t have been watching the wide screen on the wall of the waiting room, telling us when we should be visiting the pharmacy, or calling 111 rather than being here at the doctor’s; giving advice on our health and wellbeing; and advertising the excitement awaiting new members of the Patient Participation Group. Among these worthy pronouncements was information about a new club for the over-fifties - the Sporting Memories Club. 


For an hour and a half every Thursday morning, Sporting Fanatics like Mr B can gather with other like-minded types to talk about Sports They Have Known. What could possibly be a better way for my Mr B to spend a morning? The club is free, refreshments cost £1 a pop (or a cup, presumably) and there is no problem about disabled access. For those more active types there are links with Walking Football and Walking Netball. Apparently the discussion at a recent meeting over the umpiring of the recent Cricket World Cup was riveting.


We are going to our first meeting tomorrow morning. I have booked Dial-a-Ride to transport us there and back; Mr B is looking forward to the outing. I will tell you all about it in a future Daily Blog but I have Great Expectations.


That’s always my trouble, I always expect too much and end up disappointed. But, honestly, what can possibly go wrong? It’s a morning when there will be only one subject of conversation, when Mr B should be in his element, able to hold his own in discussion of virtually any sport you care to mention. 


I definitely think we should give it a Sporting Chance...


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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