Chelsea stars give parents the boot
King Solomon head Spencer Lewis
Having played in a King Solomon High School parents XI trounced 9-0 by a team of Chelsea footballing legends, Paul Lenchner reflected that "in the end, fitness was key. Our preparation was bagels. Theirs was energy and glucose drinks."
Superior skill might also have played some part as Dave Beasant, Clive Walker, Clive Wilson and Anthony Barness were among the former Blues stars who played in the fixture, the centrepiece of Sunday's summer fun day at the Barkingside school.
Keeper Beasant - the hero of Wimbledon's FA Cup-winning side of 1988 - was a spectator for most of the match. "These type of games are nice as we all miss playing, as well as the dressing room banter," he said afterwards. "It's nice to get all the lads together. Even when our legs go, we still know our way around a pitch."
Walker, the old boys' player-manager, said it was good to support worthwhile causes. "We play around 10 matches a season between March and October. It is hard for people who have never played professional football to play against us as although we may not be able to run like we used to, we can still pass the ball very well."
This was borne out by the travails of Russell Diamond, 47, another member of the KS team, whose enthusiasm in an unequal struggle was appreciated by fellow parents, teachers and past and present pupils. He found the game "very hard work as they don't seem to run but always know where the ball is. I was here for the experience."
‘Our preparation was bagels. Theirs was energy and glucose drinks’
Neil Sapler said the match had been "great fun and played in the right spirit. It was fantastic to raise funds for the school." Teammate Barry Barnett, 50, added: "It would have been easier if we had kept hold of the ball a little better. They were nice and friendly - and at least I managed a shot at goal."
Other activities for the 800 crowd included a junior football tournament, trampolining, bouncy castles and an army assault course. There were also stalls selling jewellery and T-shirts, a barbecue and music from pupil band the Amity. More than £5,000 was raised.
Committee member Michelle Mervish said it was "lovely to see kids from different departments showcasing their talents".
King Solomon head Spencer Lewis was "delighted with how the day progressed. It shows how fantastic our local community is."