Village cries Wolf-ie as darts ace lands Honorary Freedom crown at Deeping St James awards night
Everyone was a winner at The Deepings School on Tuesday when three-time world darts champion Martin Adams (58) became an Honorary Freeman of Deeping St James.
But “Wolfie” wasn’t the only sports star at Deeping St James Parish Council’s annual parish meeting where Team GB triathlete and top European finisher at last August’s World Sprint Championships, Kayleigh Adams, was also a guest.
Kayleigh, a Bourne Academy student who shares the same birthday as the darts ace, presented awards and certificates to about 20 individuals and groups that had made an outstanding contribution to the life of the area over the past year.
Breaking off from preparing for the European Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships in Geneva, Switzerland, in July, Kayleigh said: “The meeting was really good and it was nice to be able to celebrate other people’s successes.
“I don’t see myself as someone who is inspirational, but other people have said it to me.”
But the night belonged to Wolfie who was presented with this Honorary Freedom of the Parish certificate by council member Lisa Hughes in front of guests who included prospective South Kesteven District Council leader Bob Adams, chairman Coun Ray Wootten and his wife Linda.
It’s a fantastic honour, one you don’t expect and I’m very pleased to receive it.
Martin, who was also presented with a framed copy of a poem written about him by parish councillor Abdrew Bowell, said: “When I won my three world titles, none of them made me speechless.
“But when I opened the letter about this (Honorary Freedom of the Parish), I was quite speechless which is unlike me.
“It’s a fantastic honour, one you don’t expect and I’m very pleased to receive it.
“You’ve got to be aware of representing the place and community where you live, the sport, yourself, your sponsors, the organisation you’re playing within, the television company that’s broadcasting darts and everybody else involved.
“There’s nowhere for you to hide, so you have to be a proper professional and I always keep that in mind.
“I love the sport, I love playing and I love going everywhere on the exhibition circuit where I meet so many nice people from all walks of life.
“You could be standing there, one minute, chatting to a millionaire and the next minute, it’s somebody who’s just walked in with a carrier bag to shake your hand.
“You don’t know who he is, what he does, it might be a pensioner or someone who’s on the dole - you treat them all the same.”
Before Wolfie’s special moment, a special Exceptional Contribution to Village Life award was presented by Kayleigh to the organisers of Deepings Remembers, a three-day exhibition of World War I memorabilia which drew more than 1,000 visitors to Deeping St James and Market Deeping last November.
Coun Stevens, a member of the Deepings First World War Commemoration Group, said: “We put an exceptional amount of time into remembering, recording and commemorating the War with an event that someone described as being worthy of a city, let alone a set of villages.
“We did get an enormous amount of help from people in the Deepings and beyond, so we were really pleased that we managed to commemorate so many of the people who went away from the Deepings because of the First World War.”
Kayleigh also presented the Organisation of the Year Award to the Friends of Deeping Library, Citizen of the Year to Joan Dyke who ran the village playgroup, Meals on Wheels service and still helps out at a weekly Age UK lunch and at Priory Church, Deeping St James.
Meanwhile, Sam Niblock (17) took the Young Citizen of the Year Award for his youth work at the village’s Open Door Baptist Church.
Jo Dexter from The Deepings School which Sam goes to, said: “He is a mature and articulate young man with a strong social conscience.”