The Prescotian Webzine

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September '66 and we all start our new school. The school already had a great reputation for the quality of its soccer teams. (Teams from our year were a consistent embarrassment for the next 5 to 7 years. We were in no way helped by the success of the lads from the year below. )

The form I was in had as the Form Tutor a teacher with no interest whatsoever in the game. Had the main sport of the school been hockey, then I imagine Des Roberts would have made some observations on the field in the areas of aptitude, talent, skill, and leadership qualities before choosing the I Lambda Sports Captain. Instead, after a millisecond of consideration, he appointed the boy 1st in the Form alphabetically, David Lawrenson or 'Loggy'.

When it came to choosing the team for the first week, and every week after for two whole terms, Loggy did what nearly every other 11 or 12 year old boy would do; he picked his mates and sundry others. The result of this for me was that I spent the first year in the 'leftovers'. Repeated pleading with Loggy brought no change.

On games afternoon, the leftovers usually congregated in their specially bought (and never muddied) football kits near the goal posts of an unused pitch and chatted and shivered. It was here that I became acquainted with the 'odd boys' in the year. Years later I was thus able to better appreciate the deeper meaning of the Bonzos:-

Sport, sport, masculine sport,

Prepares a young man for society.

Sport turns out a jolly good sort,

It's an odd boy who doesn't like sport.

Good lads every one, Stan Chappell, Sam Strettle, Parky Parkinson, John Rigby, Alan Jolley, dare I say it- Bob Connolly, and a handful of others. How we enjoyed our chats under the cross bar whilst our hands and knees turned blue. These are boys I would probably never have got to know, in the first year at least, other than by this forced form of involuntary socialising.

Fortunately in the second year Willie McCafferty became Captain; I was promoted to the team and was thus able to soar from obscurity to enthusiastic mediocrity, or crapness as G. Thomas might put it.

The humiliation of a whole season in the leftovers probably taught me a lot. I cannot for the life of me think what though.

Oh yes I can, humiliation teaches humility.

Readers of the forum can decide for themselves what talent and being successful teaches.


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