Why hasn't Geoff got a gong?

THE 2018 England Golf Coach of the Year, Mottram Hall’s Matthew Turnock, has written the following tribute to Geoff Garnett who is still, at the age of 80, filling an amazing variety of roles in his 50th season as a member of Didsbury . . .

Geoff Garnett is a highly respected player and administrator in three sports on the Manchester scene. When he received a 50-year service medal from the FA in 2010 for his services to amateur football, he was 72.

For this teacher turned journalist – he used to teach science at Whalley Range High School for Girls – that could have been a cue to retire from all his many roles and activities.

Yet at 80 Geoff, pictured above, is helping to run WGTB, a Greater Manchester based organisation which supports the Golf Foundation and organises tournaments.

He’s the president of Ashley Cricket Club in Altrincham, the secretary of the Manchester Teachers’ Golf Society and he covers sport for regional newspapers and magazines. And he’s still playing two or three rounds of golf a week at Didsbury, a club he has served as secretary and president.

This year brings Geoff’s golfing half century as a Didsbury member.  He joined in 1968, the year Matt Busby’s United won the European Cup with the City team of the Allison-Mercer era pipping them to the League title.

City and United fans from later seasons will remember Peter Barnes, who played for both clubs, Darren Beckford, Remi Moses and Alex Williams. They came through the ranks when Geoff was a coach and selector for the Manchester Boys Under-14s and Under-15s in the 1970s and 80s.

He was a goalkeeper for East Didsbury, qualified as a Class One football referee, officiating at semi-professional level, and is a former president of the Lancashire & Cheshire League.

A wicket keeper for Cheshire Schools, he later switched to seam bowling and became an all rounder for South West Manchester and Ashley.

These days Geoff covers sport for the love of it on a voluntary basis and as ever he’s a true professional, gentleman and master of his craft. Over my 25 years of teaching at Mottram Hall his generosity in taking time to promote junior golf news has been invaluable.

Geoff is so highly thought of,  it is surprising he has never figured among the gongs in the New Year Honours List.