The loss of a close friend and team-mate has inspired a Gainsborough cricketer to up sticks and head south for a new challenge.
Martyn Snell, a Marshalls Cricket Club stalwart, says the tragic death of 21-year-old Haydn Green last year helped him realise that life is too short to pass up opportunities.
So when the chance to take up the role of head groundsman at Enfield Cricket Club presented itself, he jumped at it.
The Gainsborough man, who played a key part in keeping Marshalls going after the departure of first team players and officials, explained how he came to swap life at the crease in the Bassetlaw League for preparing wickets in the Middlesex County League.
“Someone I know in the Institute of Groundsmanship made me aware of the position,” he said.
“I thought I’d apply and see what came of it, then went down for an interview early February and by the next day they’d offered me the position.”
“I went down for a couple of visits to make sure it was right, and with the full support of my wife Olivia and family, I’ve relocated to North London myself, and go back home to Gainsborough two days a week.”
It’s a drastic change for the award winning batsman, and not without its drawbacks.
But he’s confident it’s the right move for him and his loved ones.
“Everything we went through at Marshalls, especially over the last three years, turned the club’s fortunes around, and with losing Haydn last year it just made me realise that life’s far too short – and if an opportunity arose I should grasp it with both hands.”
“I’ve sacrified a comfortable life, running the club, friendships and playing cricket for a new challenge which will open a lot of doors in the future to give myself and Olivia a strong and bright future.”
“So the short term losses will hopefully be rewarded long term.”
As for the club he leaves behind, he’s certain the Middlefield Lane outfit can go from strength to strength from their current position of stability.
“There is now a junior side at Under 9 level, we re-established a midweek side and had 50 ladies register for the club’s rounders section last summer,” he said.
“We installed a new practice net to help players develop, and put the club in a healthy financial position thanks to big support from local firms and sponsorship.”
“Obviously we won promotion last summer, but most importantly worked with the Town Council to rename the ground the Haydn Green Memorial Cricket Ground during the summer months, something which I pushed hard for.”
“I am very proud of what we’ve acheieved in his memory up to now and i know he would have loved the renaming of the ground in his honour.”
“I understand captain Lynton Karkach has recruited a few new faces for this coming season so hopefully iIwon’t be missed out in the middle and wish all the lads the best for the coming seasons.”
Marshalls player Tom Snee paid tribute to the departing Snell and his efforts to ressurect the club.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say that there would be no club without him.”
“He pulled this club through an exodus of players and personal tragedy, and we’ve got a club that’s infinitely better on the other side of it.”
“It’ll take more that just runs and wickets to replace the effort and commitment.”