...by Peter Reed
They say that you should go out at the top!
In the late seventies I read some, very good, advice: You
should leave them asking “Why you are retiring?” not “Why haven’t you
I never was much good at taking advice.
If I had done I would have retired from cricket in 1980
after a brief but spectacular career as a seriously quick bowler and an
attacking number six batsman – a description which might, justifiably, be
received with some incredulity by anyone who has seen me play in the last
I’m glad that I didn’t take that advice. If I had done I
would have missed a lot of things that I hold dear.
By the time that I arrived in Bridgwater in 1979 my
knees were damaged and my back was playing up. I was consigned to second or third team
cricket and by no means sure of getting a game every week. So what to do? Obvious!
Start a team of your own. By
1983 we were lucky to have enough young(ish) doctors, plus the odd dentist,
pharmacist etc to make up a team – and so it began.
My career in adult cricket lasted 52 years and I long
ago lost count of the number of teams for which I have played. I have loved every minute (admittedly
some minutes more than others) but none more so than those spent playing
with Bridgwater Doctors Cricket Club.
Cricket is a game that closely mimics life. There are ups and downs, there is boredom
and excitement, disaster and triumph, disappointment and (occasional)
fulfilment. It tests you physically
and mentally and it teaches you about yourself and your fellow men. I haven’t counted them but I guess that
several hundred people have played for BDCC over the last 32 years. One or maybe two of them haven’t been
very nice but they didn’t last long.
There are two reasons why I played for so long; one is
that I love cricket, the other, much more important reason is the people
with whom I have played. I am glad
that our team has always been made up of people who are fair, honest,
friendly and decent; people who approach the game, and life, in the way
that it should be played. I am proud to call you all my friends and
I wish you every success in the future.