Friday, April 12th, 2024

Old Boys United – former school football players roll back the years to snatch victory in thrilling match

THE PAST met the present at Sackville School recently when the current football team took on a group of Old Boys in what is now an annual match.

The fixture started about 15 years ago when a group of St Thomas’s Old Boys, from the school that occupied the Foxbush estate in Hildenborough before Sackville, asked if they could play a match against the current school as a trip down Memory Lane.

It was meant to be a ‘one off’ but proved such a success that it has now become an annual triangular tournament involving teams made up of St Thomas’s Old Boys, Sackville Old Boys, and the current Sackville side. It forms part of the school’s Autumn Fair which is also held annually.

Many of the St Thomas’s squad are now in their late 50s and early 60s and as a few ‘regulars’ could not make it this year, the players united with the Sackville Old Boys into one team.

Frank Baldwin (right) receives the Pip Connolly Memorial Trophy from Sackville’s Gary Dewhirst on behalf of the Old Boys

It proved to be a winning combination as the ‘Old Boys’ ran out 7-6 winners after an exciting match which saw the lead change from one team to another on several occasions. The victors were presented with the Pip Connolly Memorial Trophy, which was named after one of the original St Thomas’s team members who sadly died of cancer a few years ago.

This year’s match was also preceded by a traditional minute’s silence when all the players lined up around the centre circle to remember schoolmates and staff members who have passed away. This year this included former history and French teacher Leo Conney and Spanish teacher Camilla Bourcier, who both taught at St Thomas’s School.

St Thomas’s School was originally housed on two sites in Sevenoaks – the senior school was based at Farnaby House (now Farnaby Drive) in Kippington Road and the infant and junior school was in South Park, Sevenoaks.

They combined on the Foxbush Estate in Hildenborough in the late 60s. There was later a management buy out by the staff in the 80s when the school was renamed Foxbush, but later closed down and Sackville was then founded on the site in 1987.

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