Cricket column by former Gloucestershire chairman John Light

AMAZING though the Olympics were, sunshine and soccer enticed me from the sofa and it was back to Forest Green on Saturday.

Football in Nailsworth always means a cheerful chat with cricketer Jack Russell.

He is in fine fettle and positively glowed as we talked about Gloucestershire’s rearguard action against Hampshire.

“Before you win things you have to become hard to beat, said Jack, praising young batsmen Cockbain and Housego, who are scoring important runs.

“Over your way is a young bowler who will soon be in the first XI,” continued Jack.

He means Craig Miles from Purton. We saw Craig at Cheltenham last season and with Payne, Norwell and Saxelby all crocked we may see him again soon.

Will Gidman is very near full fitness and has returned for the game against Kent this week.

Jack, of course, is one of cricket’s good guys and Michael Vaughan is another.

The former England captain is guest at a golf day at the Cirencester Golf Club on September 26.

He is good value. I quote him on the subject of Kevin Pietersen. “There are two views on KP,” says Vaughan. “Some people cannot stand him, others just do not like him.”

Someone who was very much liked was Martin Godding, whose funeral was held in Cirencester on Friday. A packed congregation heard a moving tribute from his son Paul, now Lechlade cricket captain.

Looking around the veteran Cotswold sportsmen in the funeral congregation I realised that I owed them and others like them so much.

On the cricket fields of this county, on the touchlines at local football as well as the terraces at Swindon and Bristol Rovers, not forgetting the Trouble House skittle alley, I had learned so much.

Respect, the value of friendship, generosity of spirit, a sense of perspective, the joy of sport all were contained in Paul’s praise of his dad, and perhaps the most important of all – if you want to get anything out of life, you have to put something in first.

John Keats wrote in Ode on a Grecian Urn ‘When old age shall this generation waste, Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’ Do you agree with John? Have your say below.

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