Andy hit for six by honour

TOP AWARD: Andy Dodds, right, at the investiture with Lord Tollemache, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk.

TOP AWARD: Andy Dodds, right, at the investiture with Lord Tollemache, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk.

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Retired civil engineer Andy Dodds admits that he likes to be kept busy, but he does occasionally spend his time watching the grass grow.

For more than two decades, the 78-year-old has been a volunteer groundsman at Sudbury Cricket Club in Friars Street.

On Monday, Mr Dodds’ contribution to the club – known as the Talbots – as well as his services to the community, were recognised as he was presented with a British Empire Medal (BEM).

“I was absolutely shocked when I found out and it was lovely to be given the award,” said Mr Dodds from Landsdown Road, Sudbury.

The first Mr Dodds, who lives with his wife Mary, heard of the BEM was in June when he was named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

In the intervening months between the announcement and the investiture at Helmingham Hall this week, he has diligently continued the role he began in the early 1990s.

“In the summer, I am out at least two or three times a week keeping an eye on things and making sure the ground is in top condition,” said Mr Dodds, a retired chartered civil engineer.

“I used to play a bit of cricket at school and then helped out at Sudbury Squash Club. It was when it closed down I got involved with cricket again.”

Along with keeping the outfield, wicket and pavilion in top order, Mr Dodds lends a helping hand at Sudbury Bowls Club and Newton Green Golf Club.

“I just like doing things and don’t like to sit around doing nothing,” he said.

“My wife is chuffed about the medal, but probably thinks I am out too much.”

Cricket club vice-chairman Louis Brooks said he was a great person to have around.

“He is always there doing stuff and is a very humorous and bubbly character,” he said.

“He has played a lot of cricket in his time and lots of the youngsters at the club look up to him.”