Avery Hill ,teacher training, football and college life 1979-1981.

I mention today’s date as it serves as a reference to what is going on in the UK 28/09/2020.On this date we are treating our young people in this country appallingly.

Students are now paying up to £9000 a year for the privilege of going to university only to be locked in on campus; lectures are being delivered online and in some cases food brought to them so as not to spread a virus that gives the majority of them no ill effects.These draconian measures have been inflicted on students by our government, a group of future voters who will not forgive them. I had no such restrictions in my college days and we never had to pay. How have we got to this position in 41 years? I can only reflect on my days and the freedom we had.

I look back on my college days as probably as one my best experiences and I still think it is as my children had similar experiences.The debt nowadays, however, is crippling. I am not going to dwell on the lock down but instead reflect on my time at Avery Hill- selfish but it is my memoir.This is also a forum to post a few old photos that would otherwise be lost. If you are in any of the pictures “Hi”; if not I hope it jogs your memory to your own college days. As someone once said “we never had it so good” .

Avery Hill was a small college in Eltham SE London.The academic qualifications needed for entry were “2 A levels and 5 O levels”.There was also a entrance exam in English and Maths,interview with the HOD and a physical ability test basically, to see if you were a motor moron or not (terms used by students at the time).

Sport and coaching was something I really wanted to do; it became a passion. Before going to Avery Hill I had some coaching experience in football and gymnastics and I am sure that helped my application. By chance I knew some friends who were at Avery Hill and this helped me settle in very quickly. If by chance someone reading this is thinking of going to University, choose a subject you are passionate about and will lead you to an employment opportunity. In my case sports coaching / PE teacher gave a 35 year career. It didnt make me rich but I had some fun and satisfaction.

I’m going to show a few pictures now to stop the boredom all of which are of the Avery Hill football team.

In the spirit of “embrace the moment” I joined most clubs. I learnt so much by playing .I went to Avery Hill a footballer and left a reasonable all-rounder.If you are starting out to be a PE teacher play everything. My first love was football however the team above were relegated. As a centre forward I had trouble scoring.

However it all came right on my birthday and a cup match trip to Worcester. A great weekend and I still have the birthday card below.

Team sports are fantastic; you train together, play together and a team spirit exists amoungst your peers. Win or lose we always ended up in the Dive Bar, an underground bar on campus. Unique. A corinthian experience existed between us., playing together, drinking together. Many players went on to play for the “old boys”.

I remember the names of most people in these pictures but it is not for me to name them. Respond if you like otherwise I respect your privacy. Besides that no one will recognise you 41 years on.

In three years our team went from relegation to promotion to winning the league a great achievement.My thanks go to the students who organised training ,travel ,washed kit. and supported us. My thanks also go to our lecturers: Pete Simons, Pat Eaton, Don Anthony, Pat Sanders, D Brickell and the legend Sue Philpott, . My thanks are a little late but I’ve got more time on my hands now.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the last 1981 side but if you have one, please add to comments. Time flies and I think I was fortunate to have a grant and beer vouchers to help me along my pathway. Happy days.

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