It was more than beginner’s luck which caused Dean Thomas to lead the field at the Former Players’ Golf Day and become the latest holder of the Arthur Mann Memorial Trophy.
But, as he admitted in his acceptance speech, it was the first time Dean had ever entered the event, actually making his success all the more creditable. Dean was a midfielder with Notts between 1990 and 1997, proving to be worth every penny of the £175,000 transfer fee paid to Northampton Town for his services when he figured in the two Wembley play-off victories in 1990 and 1991 which memorably lifted the club into the old First Division.
Ruddington Grange, the course on which the Golf Day was first staged, was the popular choice for this year’s revival after a disappointing gap last year when, for the first time, insufficient entries brought about its cancellation. Steve Cherry, a member of the Former Players’ committee, accepted responsibility for organisation of the day and was encouraged by having more than 20 participants, including guests as well as former players. The switch from a mid-week date to Sunday seemed a popular one and the committee will shortly be deciding whether the experiment should continue. The prizes were presented by Sandra Mann, Arthur’s widow, accompanied by her daughter Georgina, both of them warmly welcomed. Brian Bates and Steve Cherry were among the other prize winners.