George Fletcher (1930-2005)
It is some 5 years ago now that the league secretary received a letter ‘The Sportsman Inn’ Hyde regarding putting a team into the league.
For all of us in the league, apart from his team mates at the Sportsman this was our first encounter with this character we came to know as ‘George’. They did indeed come to join us in fellowship and friendly sporting contest, but it was George who was the moving force behind the team. It was he who got his team of young and old pub colleagues together to forge what become more recently a force to be reckoned with in our league. The Sportsman deservedly lifted their first trophy in their first season. Wasn’t George proud of that.
It was only when listening to eulogies at his funeral that most of us were made aware of his past sporting achievements in the wrestling ring. The discipline required in that of all sports would be seen in the more gentle table games of Billiards and Snooker. His organisational skills as a foreman in his workin life were seen again in the efficient way in which he ran his snooker team. Respect to the current members of the team but things didn’t quite go so smoothly when George wasn’t around! He nurtured this new team,cajoling some to play whist when they were unsure of the rules of the game. The same with the game of billiards.
He led by example and whilst preferring snooker, which was his normal game, he played billiards and his skill improved steadily to the point where he won the individual billiards knockout competition.
In a comparatively short time his team have become fully integrated into the ways of the league. They take a full role, competing in all competitions and the team now has several players of real skill, including his grandson Anthony.
George led the way to this assimilation and helped manage league affairs, attending management meetings more regularly than most.