A fitting tribute to a village club stalwart

FOOTBALLERS young and old gathered at Catworth to take part in a special challenge match in memory of a former long-serving club member. The game, played at Catworth playing fields, on Sunday, was held to honour Graham Symons, club stalwart of many years,

FOOTBALLERS young and old gathered at Catworth to take part in a special challenge match in memory of a former long-serving club member.

The game, played at Catworth playing fields, on Sunday, was held to honour Graham Symons, club stalwart of many years, who died eight years ago.

The current Catworth Sunday League side took on a Catworth Legends XI in a semi-competitive fixture, fought for the Graham Symons Memorial Trophy.

The game will be the first of an annual village fixture to remember Symons, a former Kimbolton School teacher, who helped to manage Catworth for seven years in the 1990s.


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Also attending the match was Finbarr Sheehan, a former club chairman and secretary of the club from 1988-2003.

Long-standing groundsman Cyril Leonard was also on hand to ensure the pitch was ready for action. Village figurehead Cyril will attend Buckingham Palace later this year for an audience with The Queen to mark his years of dedication to Catworth.

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Graham's widow, Glenda, was on hand to present the trophy to the winning team captain, John Henson of the current Catworth side, whose side defeated the Legends 3-2. Henson was a pupil of Graham Symons at Kimbolton School.

The Legends, a side of former players, ranged in age from their mid-20s to 50 and scored two well-taken goals through Andrew Tate and Jason Lee to even up the scoreline.

It was left to Catworth first-teamer Colin Sumpter to score the winner at the end of a hard-fought game.

Glenn Symons, former Catworth manager and Graham's son, said: "It was an excellent day and I would like to say a big thank you to all the villagers and supporters who turned out to watch and to pay their respects.

"We toured Cornwall a few years ago to play Tintagel, where my father spent much of his life, but it is nice to be able to start a regular memorial in Catworth.

"Hopefully, no-one was looking when I missed a penalty for the Legends side but I thought we put up an excellent performance against the current XI."

The trophy will remain on display at the Racehorse Inn, at Catworth, until next year's next fixture.

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