|"Some people have described 'Cancer, Vinegar and Chips', as a well seasoned counterpart to the old Meatloaf song, 'Two Out of Three Ain't Bad' - I don't have a problem with that," Nolton Swab.|
Better known to generations of cricket followers as the Head Steward at Nettles Green Cricket Club, Swab, 64, was in a reflective mood during an acceptance speech lasting more than an hour.
There was lavish praise for the "exemplary behaviour, eagerness to report wrongdoing, and excessive restraint" of Mr Charles Battersby, the only Nettles Green member who had "unfailingly observed Club rules" throughout Swab's 42 years of service.
"A man more noble than any other I have known," he said. "I have watched him catch fire during the first ball of an over, remain in his seat until the over's end in obvious pain, conceal his concern about the hosepipe ban, and proceed in an orderly fashion to the members bar, where, after queuing for a further five minutes, he received the water he required to douse the flames."
|Law abiding Charles Battersby made headlines last year when he was forced to watch helplessly from a nearby footpath as his daughter was beaten and robbed after straying onto prohibited grass: "Money comes and goes. Dignity is irreplaceable," he said at the time.|
Swab's admiration for Battersby was matched only by his contempt for everyone else. Those that had transgressed Club rules, and there were plenty of them present, were forced to squirm in their seats as he proceeded to personally address each and every miscreant.
In what was perhaps the most ferocious attack of all, the wrathful steward castigated the former Mayor of Hoggshire, Bernie Buttons.
"You knew full well that the ambulance workers who arrived to treat your mother needed jackets in order to enter the Pavilion," Swab barked.
|The boss says no trainers! Swab attracted criticism from patient lobbies during his spell as an ambulance inspector on Hoggshire TV's reality show: Celebrity Hospital|
"Asking them to wait at the door while you went and fetched her would have been the sensible thing to do. I was due a break in ten minutes and would have happily given you a hand with the stretcher.
"But you are not the type to accept help from a lowly steward are you sir? Far better for a man of your social standing to send them to the club shop and have them fitted out in blazers.
"These sir, were precious minutes that cost your mother her life."
Having spoken his mind, Swab was free to turn his attention to his fans. The gloom lifted and the auditorium filled with joy once more as he broke into a spontaneous rendition of his latest chart-topping hit: Rules, Rules, Rules.