AFTER more than 50 years of playing cricket in the Forest, Dennis Symonds says his happiest memories are unfolding right in front of him.
68-year-old Symonds is still taking wickets now for Ruardean Hill’s second team, and the veteran is delighted to see how the club have progressed since his debut in 1964.
“Seeing how the club has improved since I started – the clubhouse was just a wooden shed – is fantastic to see.
“They’ve got everything in there now and it’s mostly done by club members, both football and cricket.
“We all work together and get on well together and that’s what makes it a great club.
“I’ve made a lot of very good friends at the club, one of those was Terry Burgham who sadly died not long ago.”
Symonds started out as a 16-year-old and played for Speech House in the 1960s and has fond memories of the old knockouts for both clubs.
“We’ve had a few highlights over the years; we won the old Monmouth knockout a few times,” he said.
“My biggest achievement was probably beating Lydney. We didn’t have the strongest side but we were good at the knockout.”
Symonds went on to help coach an Under-13s side at Ruardean Hill that won the county knockout in the 1990s, the first Forest side to do so.
And it’s a great source of pride for Symonds that a number of that team went on to play men’s cricket for the club.
But Symonds’ eyes are also on the present as he sees his current side top the table in Division Two West of the CGF League.
“We’ve got a few lads who are capable of being in the first team,” he added.
“If we can keep the side together we can finish at the top end of the league this year.”