Athletic may be gone, but the club will not be forgotten

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We moved house in mid-December, and it has given Bluebell a new lease of life.

To be honest, we didn’t really expect our ginger dachshund to be still with us. She is sixteen-and-a-half after all.

In the morning, when I get up and go into the kitchen where she sleeps, I occasionally have to listen for breathing noises, or look for signs of movement under her duvet, before putting the kettle on.

Bluebell has been on her own since her buddy Hamish died just over a year ago. They both got a virus. She took a long time to recover, but sadly my long-distance walking partner didn’t make it.

We told her before the move that we were going on holiday, and she has enjoyed exploring the new house and garden, taking in the new sights and scents.

Apart from the odd saunter towards the drive, she hasn’t yet made a break for the old place.

I did toy with the idea of doing the move myself, as the new house is less than a quarter-of-a-mile from the old, but quickly came to my senses.

When you move in a small village, distances are measured in yards – I was never taught to think metric.

But whether you are moving a few hundred yards, or a few hundred miles, there’s no real difference. Moving’s a pain.

Everything has to be packed up, then unpacked and fitted in. Yes, we’re still in the process of unpacking. And no, I’m not sure where everything is yet.

The one big advantage – the only? – of moving as close to Christmas as we did is that you don’t really have to worry about the garden. It’s the time of year when nothing is supposed to grow.

And that was a major reason for making the move but, happily, staying in Alpheton.

Our new home has a garden of a size that we can control rather than one which in recent years has tended to rule our lives.

Because we moved such a short distance, we were able to keep our telephone number, and it took just two days to switch the line. This was swiftly followed by an offer of free broadband for the first three months.

Not swiftly enough however. The letter was sent to my previous address, and the offer had expired when the redirected post arrived at the new one.

It’s always sad when something that has been around, seemingly forever, disappears, and the recent demise of Sudbury Athletic is no exception.

Season after season, the club has defied the odds and the expectations of many who believed that the end was nigh.

My sympathies go especially to Pat Rockett who, with just a bare handful of loyal helpers, has battled for years to keep Athletic on the map.

But it is also sad that there has been so much recrimination as to who should take the blame. When the heat has died down, perhaps a more reflective approach will prevail.

Athletic is a club which has touched so many people. Many, possibly most, local players have turned out for Athletic at some stage in their careers, and look back on those days with great affection.

Athletic may be gone, but the club will not be forgotten.

Ken Watkins is a former Free Press editor and sports editor.