Determined Temple Guiting sportsman of Aldsworth Cricket Club celebrates 70 years of playing cricket
ONE determined cricketer is celebrating 70 years of his favourite pastime at the end of August, as his past and present teammates prepare to congratulate him on reaching the impressive sporting milestone.
Octogenarian all-rounder Bert Saddler started playing cricket when he was just 13-years-old. Now, 70 years on the farmer still turns out every Sunday with his team at Aldsworth.
The sprightly 83-year-old cannot get enough of his favourite sport and has kept playing over the years despite several injuries, including those he received after being knocked down by a tractor.
"I used to play for Winchcombe," Bert said. "I still play a couple of games with them now. I was a good bowler in my time but I don't bowl now. I just really enjoy the sport.
"I first started playing cricket in a little village in Ford when I was 13. I recently found a photo of my old team and out of the 17 players pictured, I'm the only one still going."
Bert lives with his wife Sally in Temple Guiting and has been regularly playing cricket at Aldsworth Cricket Club for three seasons. He has two children, Suzanne and Alan and one grandchild, Sarah.
"Both my daughter and grand-daughter are very sporty. They both enjoy horse-riding and Sarah even likes to play cricket too," the proud grandfather said.
Members of Aldsworth Cricket Club will be celebrating Bert's staggering 70 years of playing cricket this Sunday (August 25) with a buffet meal and a match against his former team Winchcombe.
Chairman of Aldsworth Cricket Club Nigel Crew said he had never known any cricketer of Bert Saddler's standard for his age.
"I've met lots of aged cricketers but none with Bert's determination," Nigel said. "I can always guarantee he will be there on Sunday, first in line to play.
"He gets stepped on, knocked down and allsorts at the farm by the animals but we still see him at the club every week, even if he's hobbling a bit. His wife used to wonder why he doesn't give up farming and just play cricket."
Bert will be the focus of all attention during the match this Sunday as he is being made captain for the first time at the club. He will be able to celebrate with his current Aldsworth teammates and his rivals-for-the-day from Winchcombe plus more of his former cricketing friends, some of whom he played with when he first started getting to know the sport.
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