Friday, July 19th, 2024

Sackville and St Thomas’ Old Boys team up to snatch victory in annual football match

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed at the start of the annual Old Boys Match at Sackville School recently when players gathered around the centre circle to remember schoolmates and staff members who have passed away.

Honest ref, I got the ball. A tackle flies in during the game.

The tribute has become a tradition since the fixture started 16 years ago when a group of old boys from St Thomas’, 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 proved to be such a success that Sackville suggested it became an annual event and it has since developed into a triangular tournament involving teams made up of St Thomas’ Old Boys, Sackville Old Boys, and the current Sackville side. It is now one of the attractions at Sackville school’s Autumn Fair which is also held annually.

The teams play for the Pip Connolly Memorial Trophy, named after a former St Thomas’ pupil. He was one of the original founders of the Old Boys game who sadly died from cancer.

St Thomas’ Old Boy Frank Baldwin (right) receives the Pip Connolly Memorial Trophy from Sackville Sports master Gary Dewhirst.

Although the contest started as a triangular tournament, many of the St Thomas’s squad are now in their late 50s and early 60s and struggle to play a full game. So, for the last couple of years they have teamed up with the Sackville Old Boys into one side and for the second year running this was a winning combination with the ‘Old Boys’ running out 7-5 winners after a competitive but very friendly game.

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.

St Thomas’ Old Boy Martin Macnamara slots home to put the Old Boys ahead.

David Osborne heads off the line to protect the Old Boys lead.

Teams United. The Old Boys line up with the current Sackville School side.

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