SPORTS AWARDS: We were all made to feel like winners, says Cumnor's Mitty

Oxford Mail: Roger Mitty with the BBC South unsung hero award at his beloved Cumnor Cricket Club Roger Mitty with the BBC South unsung hero award at his beloved Cumnor Cricket Club

Roger Mitty said he had unforgettable time when attending the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony in Leeds on Sunday.

Mitty was there in his own right as one of the 15 finalists in the unsung hero category, following his 50 years of workr for Cumnor Cricket Club, despite missing out on the national award.

“It was a fantastic occasion and I had not the slightest tinge of regret in not winning,” said Mitty, who qualified as the BBC South region winner.

“It was just as privilege to be there.

“I spent quite a lot of time with the other finalists, and they had all achieved amazing things, much more than me.

“That was the view of all of us. Not one of us thought we would win.

“The words we kept mentioning were ‘passion’ and ‘joy’. Passion for our sport and joy at seeing youngsters benefit from our efforts.”

The eventual winners, Joe and Maggie Forber for their work promoting basketball in Manchester, did not know they had won until their names were announced.

Mitty said: “So, we were all given detailed instructions, in case we won. In the event, we were all made to feel like winners.

“I still can’t quite believe I was a finalist, because there are thousands of unsung heroes out there who do what I do.

“And we all do it because we love doing it and get so much pleasure from it.”

It was earlier this year that a health issue made up Mitty’s mind that the time was right to wind down his involvement.

But he says he would not have changed anything from his time at Cumnor, who this year won promotion back to the top flight of the Cherwell League.

“In January, my retina detached in my right eye and I have been in and out of hospital,” he said.

“It was then that I said to the committee that I think it’s time that somebody else takes over as chairman.”

He added: “I was sitting in a coffee shop a few months later when my phone rang and I was told that I had been nominated and had made the final three for the area.”

Mitty’s long-service at Cumnor has brought many personal highlights.

“When you see people out there opening the batting or bowling and can remember helping them as a seven or eight-year-old as they start out, that’s a great feeling,” he said.

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