Published: 00:01, 07 August 2017 |
Updated: 11:03, 07 August 2017
Kent's cricketing community has paid paid its final respects to a much-loved former groundsman.
Cecil "Sammy" Fidler, who died last month aged 82, turned up for his job interview on a tractor and went onto to become one of the best known faces around the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.
With his distinctive nose and bald head, Cecil “Sammy” Fidler was as distinctive as some of the cricketing greats he prepared pitches for when Kent was littered with test internationals like Derek Underwood, Mike Denness, Alan Knott and Asif Iqbal.
Mr Fidler funeral took place at Barham Crematorium, attended by many mourners connected with county cricket.
He had worked for Canterbury City Council until the late 1970s, when he was offered an interview by former Kent Cricket secretary Les Ames.
Arriving on a tractor, he was offered a job, and went to work with head groundsman Brian Fitch until stepping down in the early 1990s.
Mr Fitch said: “Sam was a very good assistant and a real character. He would come in at all hours to check on the covers and work on the ground.
“He would usually look after the outfield and practice square and maintain the stands – tidying up and putting out chairs before matches. He was known all over the circuit.
“He was different and had a great relationship with Kent players and the opposition.
“He would clean the players’ pads and boots like a dressing room attendant – we didn’t have them in the early days.
“We had one tractor and four mowers and had to move the covers on our own.”
Former Simon Langton schoolboy Dominic Potts was a regular visitor to the ground. The 42-year-old said: “We often went into the ground after the tea break to watch the first eleven.
“Sammy was just one of those faces you always associated with being at the cricket.
“If he was in town, you would always point him out that he was one of the groundsman from the cricket.
“We worshipped the cricket club as kids and Sammy was part of the furniture there.”
Former Kent and England fast bowler Dean Headley posted on Facebook: “Sam was such a wonderful bloke. RIP fella.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.