What a funeral; I have never seen so many people but I’m not surprised, as he was a genuine “what you see is what you got” kind of man, I’ve known Dennis many years, as a cricketer for Lycett Youth but it was much later when he came to play for N&HCC and later as groundsman we became firm friends.
He was able to bring both the club and the ground to life, things became more friendly and had a more pleasant atmosphere even with him constantly shouting: “keep off the grass” or “watch that dog or it’s arse” or something like that.
Nora, his wife, supported by her children, was wonderful coping with all the friends who wanted to give their condolences.
After a couple of pints a visit or two at the refreshment table beautifully laid and prepared by Occasions; Stuart, his mate and number one mechanic who was giving me a lift home shouted “are you ready as I’ve got something I would like to do”.
As I climbed in his 4 x 4 Ranger he drove on the grass -and, to my shock he kept driving all the way around the ground; as we approached the Pavilion, the people who had all come outside, cheered and clapped shouting: “GET OFF THE GRASS!”.
Something even the priest mentioned at the funeral service, towards the end.
It was a wonderful thing to do, I thoroughly enjoyed sitting there with Stu, what a kind thought; his way of showing his appreciation to his mate.
Driving home I felt a little depressed until I seemed to hear Dennis say “You silly bugger, get on with it” to Stu and to me: “Get a grip and pull your finger out Smithy!”
It seemed a load was taken of my chest and I hope that Nora and the family will have the same experience in the days to come. I wish I knew how to put photos on this Blog of him perhaps Martyn or Arnie can help me?
(Thanks for that help, Tony.)