Emotional occasion for All-Star players
The Over-40s Veteran All-Stars match between Somerset and St George's will celebrate its 21st year this weekend and in light of recent developments, promises to be an emotional occasion when the teams step out onto the field tomorrow at Somerset Cricket Club.
Both clubs have lost stalwarts over the past few weeks with the passing of Colin Smith, the former Somerset president, and Cal Rayner, a former St George's footballer.
Madge Smith who, along with husband RO Smith, put up the trophy which bears his name, also died this year.
This week the St George's community mourned the loss of Agatha Dickinson, mother of another player in the annual match, Stevie Dickinson.
“It's a sad time for both clubs, first we lost Madge Smith and she and her husband RO put up the trophy,” said David Brangman, who organises the match every year along with the likes of Larry Hunt, Stephen Paynter, Allan Caisey and Lionel “Baldy” Smith.
Many of the original players are now in their 60s and have stopped playing, although Rayner played every year, including helping St George's to win the last two years.
A minute's silence will be observed prior to the match for those who have died.
Brangman is surprised that the match is still going strong two decades later as the two rival clubs come together for a good cause, having honoured close to 200 players over the years.
“We gave ourselves five years and thought it would die out, when myself, Larry, Stephen and “Bubba” Tucker put it together,” Brangman said.
“It's Somerset and St George's guys coming together, with the camaraderie from way back, and that's what has kept it going.
“The rivalry comes out on the field. CO [Rayner] is going to be a miss, he participated the whole 21 years. He got honoured last year so we feel good about that. Colin Smith is a former Somerset president and was also a player in this event and Somerset people are missing him.”
A meal will follow the match, which starts at 3pm and after that will be the presentations in the club auditorium. Honoured this year will be Joe Bailey, Edward “Ice Water” Smith, John Stovell, Eugene Roberts and Quinton “Rubber legs” DeSilva of Somerset and Quinton Mallory and Llewellyn Furbert of St George's.
Special awards will be presented to referee Richard Knight and sports journalist Dexter Smith.