Former top-flight footballers take to the course at Stoke Rochford GC

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Grant Brown (second left) with the winning team, from left, Jeff Purdy, Roger Smith and Ian McParland. Not pictured: Eddie Malloy.Grant Brown (second left) with the winning team, from left, Jeff Purdy, Roger Smith and Ian McParland. Not pictured: Eddie Malloy.
Grant Brown (second left) with the winning team, from left, Jeff Purdy, Roger Smith and Ian McParland. Not pictured: Eddie Malloy.

Former top-flight professional footballers took to the tees at Stoke Rochford Golf Club on Friday for Grant Brown’s inaugural Ambassadors Day.

The former Leicester City and Lincoln City defender became club ambassador at Stoke Rochford last summer and invited a host of friends from the world of sport.

“It was all about getting some old friends and teammates into Stoke Rochford for a day of friendly, but competitive golf on a great local course, making them aware of the place and hopefully getting them to come back again,” he said.

“As sportsmen, being competitive is in our genes.

“We can’t play football anymore, but what we can do is find another sport to be competitive in and golf is a great leveller.”

Brown, who is academy manager at the FCV International Football Academy in Stamford, hopes to make it an annual event.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to has been very complimentary, even though a few were caught out by the quick greens,” he added.

“You get well looked after here and the course is fantastic.”

Former footballers tested their mettle on the challenging parkland course included Paul Miller, who played 80 top-flight matches for Wimbledon, and former Notts County goalkeeper Steve Cherry, who made 266 appearances for the Magpies, while ex-Nottinghamshire county cricketer Nigel Illingworth also took to the tees.

The 40-strong field, who took part in a fourball stableford competition, also included Lee Glover who spent seven seasons as a forward at Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, and made 105 league and cup appearances, including the 1991 FA Cup final.

Lee, who lives near Corby, is a member at Rutland Water Golf Club and was impressed by his first visit to Stoke Rochford.

“I’ve driven past it many times and always been interested to see what it was like,” he said.

“It’s a beautiful setting with very interesting holes and the food and the service was excellent.

“There is a lovely friendly welcome, the bar and clubhouse was immaculate and the overall feel of the place was good. Before we left we decided we would have another couple of rounds here this season before October.”

Pauline Haggerty won the Burroughs Crystal Medal at Stoke Rochford Golf Club on Saturday.

The trophy was presented in 1979 by Jo Burroughs, who provides the prize for the winner every year.

Haggerty won with net 70, ahead of second place Rachel Jones (net 72) and third place Pam Watson (72), who won the gross of 82.

Wednesday’s Stableford was won by Lynn Ewart with 34 points, ahead of Dorne Werner (33 points) and Sheila Dugmore (32 points).

Stoke Rochford are inviting any lady or girl to a free fun taster afternoon of golf on Wednesday, September 8 from 2pm.

Golf clubs will be provided if required.

On a rather cold and, at times, blustery day, Stoke Rochford Seniors entertained Luffenham Heath.

Stoke recorded their first double of the season, winning six games and halving two.

Results: Mike Thornton & David Hamilton halved, Jim Davidson & Ray Elsome won 4&2, Mick Rance & Greg Ewart won 4&2, Darrell Knight & Graham Manton won 6&5, Keith Eldred & Don Werner won 2up, John Hitchman & John Martindale won 2&1, Ken Taylor & Eddie Plant won 7&5, Glyn Staines and Steve Major halved.

On a cool overcast day Stoke Rochford were entertained at Newark GC.

On the day, Newark proved overall to be the stronger team, winning 5.5-2.5.

Results: Mike Thornton & Greg Ewart lost 2down, Don Pennycook & Roger Green lost 6&5, Barry Mitchell & Steve Anderson halved, Chris Woof & Barry Coop lost 2down, Darrell Knight & Eddie Malloy won 1up, Ken Taylor & Glyn Staines lost 2down, Mike Watkins & John Hirchman lost 4&3, Doug Lyne & Steve Major won 1up.