Inspiring treat for gifted pupils as Lowestoft Town football managers pay a visit
08:38 20 December 2014
There was a treat in store for gifted and talented PE students at one Lowestoft high school – as joint Lowestoft Town FC managers Mick Chapman and Ady Gallagher visited.
The Ormiston Denes Academy youngsters met the Lowestoft managers and former students at a special event on Monday organised by academy press officer Julie Durrant, who is involved in researching the academy’s alumni.
Mr Chapman and Mr Gallagher were greeted by Year 8 student Taran Pledger, who has just been selected to represent Suffolk in gymnastics, and Year 9 student Oscar Hall, who plays football for Waveney.
The students heard how Ady and Mick attended The Denes as students in the mid 1970s. Mr Gallagher later returned to teach maths and was also head of year. He recalled his school friendship with Sean Harris, a former Denes drama student who recently won an Oscar for best actor.
Mr Chapman told the students how much he had always loved football and sport and how he remembers being broken-hearted when he was not picked to be part of the school football team. Following this disappointment he had a trial to play rugby and he described how a particularly nasty scrum put him off, ironically forcing him to stick to football.
The students then asked a series of questions, including what the best advice they had ever been given was, what their best achievement so far was, what the biggest hurdle they had overcome was and what they would be if they weren’t football managers.
Mr Chapman said: “I always wanted to be a footballer. I didn’t get into teaching until quite late.”
Mr Gallagher said: “I wanted to be a teacher when I was at school. If you are ambitious and want to do well, school is when it starts.”
Mr Chapman thanked the students for making him and Ady welcome and invited them to Crown Meadow to watch a future game.
Leading the session, Mark Armstrong, teacher of PE, said: “This was an excellent opportunity for our gifted and talented PE students to meet with Denes old boys Ady and Mick, who have both achieved so much at Lowestoft Town.
Both were able to shed light on what it is like to balance time between their day jobs with their sporting lives.”
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