To paraphrase the Wisdom of Sirach, 'Let us now praise famous doughty groundsmen, and the wickets they begat us.............'
Fantasy Bob's dwindling handful of readers, distracted these days as they must be by continual reports of the world going to hell in a handcart and 200 becoming the par score in T20, may not have noticed a momentous announcement this week from the go ahead Edinburgh cricket club Carlton.
It marked the end of an era with the retirement of the club's World Famous Doughty Groundsman. The announcement rightly noted the long years of doughty service with the scarifier that the WFDG had put in which have ensured that the Grange Loan wicket is as fine a playing surface as can be found anywhere.
Fantasy Bob adds his praise - the WFDG's support for the lower teams in the club was exemplary. He prepared the wickets for FB's own lower league tussles with as much attention to detail as for the club's higher teams. Never one to suffer fools gladly, or silently, he suffered FB's foolishnesses with saintly equanimity.
He might inwardly have groaned as FB spurned yet another fine batting service to bowl first in his obsessive pursuit of league points; he might have wondered to himself what was the point; but he stayed silent...........almost.
Yes, the WFDG has been an inspirational figure at Grange Loan and beyond -
Inspiring Rabbie Burns to a celebration of his work
Inspiring Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood
Inspiring Doughy Groundsmen the world over to seek his advice
Inspiring not quite Henry Raeburn but another celebrated Edinburgh portraitist
Inspiring a world famous charity appeal
FB offers his thanks to the WFDG for his inspirational role and all his work and is glad to note that he will not be a stranger at Grange Loan.