SU M M ER 2020
Hampton Sports Chronicle
HISTORY MAKERS Three teams reach ESFA finals in record-breaking Hampton year
First XV Cup run
USA Sports Scholars
Inside the India Tour
Mr Carlos Mills
HSC breaks down the semifinal heartbreak
Meet the OHs educated in the US
Our special correspondent takes you behind the scenes
Director of Sport reflects on his Hampton career
The Hampton Sports Chronicle is written and edited by Hampton boys from across the year groups. Editor Summer 2020: Josh Bartholomew
U16A FIGHT BACK TO BECOME THIRD TEAM TO REACH NATIONAL FINAL ESFA semi-final: Hampton 3-2 Ark Alexandra Academy
THROUGH THE ROUNDS
Sam Colvine looks back on the cup run
After a convincing 10-2 win over The Marlborough Science Academy to kickstart their campaign, Hampton faced one of their toughest adversaries so far in the form of Moulsham High School in the third round of ESFA. 2-0 down at halftime and facing elimination, the team regrouped under Mr Carlos Mills’ ardent stewardship and netted twice to take the game to extra time. With the end of extra-time approaching and penalties looming, Hampton finally took the lead as Jack Da Costa found the winner. In Round Four, they faced Ravens Wood School and as the competition progressed the games became tougher. Again, the team found themselves 2-0 down after a very ordinary first 45 minutes. However, their resilience shone through as they completed an encouraging comeback as Rohan Sahota, Alex Dinan and Da Costa scored to complete a satisfying victory.
Hampton celebrate Sam Evans’ stunning goal Sam Colvine Hampton’s U16A team beat Ark Alexandra Academy 3-2 in a thrilling ESFA semi-final on the 3G to become the third team to reach a national football final this season. From kick-off, Ark Alexandra seized the initiative, pressing Hampton onto the back foot early on. Frequently, they threatened to find their way behind the home defence and, eventually, they succeeded: incisive dribbling from an Ark Alexandra midfielder enabled him to carve out some space on the edge of the area. A subtle through-ball split the Hampton defence, sending the opposition winger goal bound. Quickly, he squared it across the face of goal where his striker turned the ball into the empty net. However, the U16As responded resolutely with Alex 2
Dinan orchestrating play. After the opposition keeper saved Patrick Helm’s shot from close range, Jack Da Costa found himself on the right wing. With no real passing options available, he clipped a cross into the box, yet, with the wind blasting across the pitch, the ball was blown goalwards, looping over the hapless keeper into the far corner. This goal, almost from nowhere, spurred the home team on and a second soon came. Following a goal mouth scramble, the ball trickled out beyond the edge of the box where captain Sam Evans was waiting. He drove a powerful shot into the top corner, hit with such power that the keeper had no chance. Hampton were dominating now and, as half-time loomed, the net rippled again as Helm struck a rasping half-volley home to give his team a convincing two-goal lead.
After the interval, Hampton resumed their supremacy with numerous attempts challenging the opposition keeper. However, their commanding performance was slightly tainted by an Ark Alexandra goal where a windassisted corner found its way into the Hampton net in similar fashion to Da Costa’s earlier goal. Yet the U16As did not let this dent their morale and they pushed on with Theo Back, Dinan and Rohan Sahota all coming desperately close. Nonetheless, it finished 3-2 and the team secured their place in the national final after an excellent collective performance, though they would ultimately never get to contest the title. With only one loss all season, the U16A team will go down in history as one of the greatest Hampton sides as they move into senior football next season.
Now approaching the latter stages of the competition, Round Five saw a brilliant performance against Charters School who fell to a 4-1 defeat against the U16As. Cup games were coming thick and fast and Lealands High School were their next opponents in Round Six, and Hampton secured a 2-0 win. Each match was becoming even more important, and Round Seven saw Hampton take on St Peter’s Catholic School. The U16As found themselves in the familiar position of being 2-0 down at the break but, yet again, they mounted a valiant comeback to make it 2-2 at the full-time whistle. Both teams scored in extra-time, meaning the game finished 3-3 and penalties were required. As the teams stood level on four successful spot-kicks each, it was up to Sam Evans to take the crucial penalty after the opposition had missed an earlier attempt. The captain showed magnificent composure to arrow the ball into the top corner, beyond the goalkeeper’s reach, securing the win for his team. The quarter-final arrived but it proved to be a straightforward victory against St Peter’s C of E Aided School, with a final score-line of 3-0 after goals from Dinan and Da Costa.
SENIOR TEAMS SHOW HAMPTON’S FOOTBALLING DEPTH WITH ESFA SUCCESS Second XI and U16Bs join U16As in national final Josh Bartholomew, Sam Colvine, Maxi Grindley
making the long trip back from the South Coast safe in the knowledge that they had secured their place in the quarter-finals.
After the First XI’s exceptional and thrilling ESFA U18 Cup title last April, this year, the School’s other footballing teams have proven their quality in the national competition. The Second XI, U16A (see opposite) and U16B teams have all followed in the First XI’s footsteps, reaching national finals themselves. But how did they reach the showpiece event? HSC has charted the their respective seasons.
Their campaign continued apace, with Tiverton High School visiting Hanworth Road after a two-month hiatus for the Christmas holidays. Having travelled from Devon, Tiverton returned empty-handed after a ruthless performance from Hampton, who ran out 7-0 winners.
Second XI midfielder Henry Evans drives the ball forward
Second XI Looking to atone for falling just short of an ESFA final last season, losing in the quarter-final to John Madejski Academy, Mr Joseph Cumberbatch’s corps went two better this time, reaching the final. After a first-round bye, Hampton eased through the early stages of the competition, first beating Glenthorne High School 11-1, with four goals from Lucas Copplestone as well as a Tom Chandler hat-trick, before beating Chobham Academy 9-0, with Copplestone adding two more to his goal-scoring tally, this time complemented by Tom Randall’s hat-trick. Hampton were quickly gaining momentum, and as the competition took a break over the Christmas holidays, the Second XI had lost only once all season - in September and were on an eleven-game winning streak. They were quickly establishing themselves as the side to watch in the ESFA U18 Cup for B teams. The Second XI’s form continued after the Christmas break, beating Dulwich 3-2 in a friendly after Jules Lockey’s headed winner in the last play of the game, before their match against Bradfield College in the
fourth round of ESFA. Bradfield are one of the country’s finest footballing schools, consistently challenging for ISFA and ESFA honours up and down the age groups. But they were duly despatched by the Second XI, whose thrilling 3-0 win away from home marked just reward for an exceptional performance. The victory meant, therefore, that Hampton had secured their place in the ESFA quarter-finals, where they would face RSA Academy. Once again, Hampton were too hot to handle - this time, they romped to a 5-0 win at home thanks to braces from Copplestone and Lockey, as well as Randall’s strike. By this point, in early March, the Second XI still hadn’t lost since September, stretching their winning streak to 16 games. But they would meet their match in the ESFA semi-final - or so Hampton thought. Having been drawn against Harris City Academy Crystal Palace for a place in the national final, Hampton faced a school whose elite set-up features players who compete in the FA Youth Cup. The U18 Cup for B teams, however, bans these players from taking part.
So, despite a 1-0 loss, Hampton were awarded a place in the final owing to the fact that Harris Academy had fielded ineligible players. It was a well-deserved stroke of fortune to cap what had been an extraordinary season - excluding the semi-final, the team lost only twice all year. Though they never got to compete in the final due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Second XI’s exploits gave them the opportunity to win the much-coveted ESFA U18 Cup for B teams.
There was, therefore, only one team standing between Hampton and a third consecutive ESFA final: St. Aloysius’ College. Hampton were handed another home draw, and the U16Bs attracted a large crowd for the match despite the freezing February weather. With so much at stake it was a fiery clash, but Hampton did well to quell the tension and win 1-0, thanks to Mustafa Hussain’s calm second-half goal, thus setting-up another ESFA final against their foes of the previous two years: Sandbach School.
U16B For a third consecutive season, the U16B team reached the ESFA final after another impressive cup campaign under the leadership of Mr Elliot Prior. Partaking in a much more condensed ESFA competition, their first match was in Round Three, against Steyning Grammar School, after a number of byes. After an impressive start to the season, Hampton put out an adept performance, winning 7-0 and
Like the Second XI, the U16B team were unable to compete in the final, but three consecutive finals is an impressive feat for the team, and they played their part in Hampton history in the 2019/20 season as three sides reached a national final for the first time. 3
HAMPTON FALL IN NATIONAL SEMIFINAL AFTER DEVASTATING LATE TRY Rugby School 22-19 Hampton and Rugby used their numerical advantage to dot-down near the touchline and make the score 12-7. Despite their excellent try, Hampton had been defending for the majority of the first half, and at the interval a change was needed to counteract Rugby’s forward power, most notably supplied by England U18 back-rower Ben Muncaster. Hampton looked energised after half-time, breaking to the Rugby line with a wonderful Joe Sykes run, but the final, finishing touch just eluded them as the First XV built the phases, meaning the home team could clear.
Winger Dan Finlay fights for extra ground Josh Bartholomew Sometimes, words can’t quite describe the drama on a sporting field. This was certainly one of those occasions. In the closing minutes alone of this Champions Trophy semifinal, the pendulum swung back-andforth, back-and-forth – to Rugby, to Hampton, to Hampton, but the crucial blow was the final one, and it was Rugby’s, taking a 22-19 win with the last play to reach the Champions Trophy final. Trailing by eight points with under ten minutes remaining, it looked as if Hampton’s brilliant, plucky cup campaign would fizzle out at the home of the sport. But their run was built upon guts and fight, and that’s exactly what Rugby found out, before the home team were themselves able to hit back with the clock dead. Competing in their first national semifinal since 2013, Hampton had the better of the opening exchanges. After a territorial kicking battle, Hampton took the ball into the ruck, where Rugby were penalised. Fly-half 4
Jamie Benson pointed to the sticks, but his penalty fell just wide. As both teams broke into their stride in the early stages, Rugby’s physicality shone through, powering their way into Hampton’s 22, before creating an overlap for winger Archie Cade to score in the corner and give his team an early 5-0 lead. With a place in the final at Allianz Park at stake, both teams had much to play for, and the ensuing period of tension was to be expected as both sides got to grips with the occasion. Such pressure often results in a more structured game-plan and a reliance on forward power, but Hampton’s trademark brand of expansive, running rugby still shone through. Stand-in Captain Patrick Silcox opted to take a quick line-out inside his own 22, elegantly stepping past Rugby’s charging kick-chase before taking the ball into contact. But Hampton had built numbers with this unexpected play, and Tommy Nagle capitalised on them to break through, surging
his way up to half-way. The backrower, playing in his first game since returning from injury, then found Benson with a spectacular offload. Benson calmly assessed the field, feigning right, before giving Archer Chilcott a free run to the line. Benson’s conversion gave Hampton a 5-7 lead. Inevitably, the tension returned to the game, with both teams failing to take advantage of respective strong attacking positions. Rugby were now playing with a one-man advantage, though, after Hampton forward Lucas Mangham was sent to the sin-bin for an offence at the maul. Rugby attempted to capitalise on this, but struggled to do so until mere moments before Mangham’s return. Counter-attacking from Hampton scrum-half Luke Greenall’s box-kick, Rugby’s outside centre scythed into the 22, before letting his forwards take over. With one fewer defender, Hampton’s try line was under extreme threat. But the First XV repelled onslaught after Rugby onslaught, until the pressure was too much
With the clock ticking and darkness drawing in, the game was poised on a knife-edge. Hampton’s depth on the substitutes’ bench looked stronger, and Louis Goodwin, David Ellis and Joe Sykes all had a noticeable impact on the game. But entering the last ten minutes, it was still Rugby with a five-point lead, and this was extended to eight as they stormed into the Hampton 22. The team from South West London did well to avoid conceding what would have been a fatal try, but Rugby’s flyhalf knocked over a drop-goal to give his team a two-score advantage with only minutes remaining. Hampton’s kick-off was inch-perfect, allowing backrower Alex Taylor to smash into the Rugby catcher, giving his team great attacking position just outside the opposition 22. And Hampton somehow seemed to gain a further iota of energy, breaking rapidly on the outside through London Irish centre Jesper Hartikainen and Aidan Barry. The ball was lost in the process, but Mangham charged down Rugby’s clearance kick brilliantly, and Barry could simply flop on the ball and score.
Benson’s conversion was unsuccessful, meaning Hampton needed another try to offset the three-point deficit. Hampton won a line-out from the kick-off, and used their driving maul to attract opposition defenders, before peeling off into space. In the muddy, dark conditions, Hampton relied on their forward-play to give them the crucial try. As drive after drive after drive was repelled, it appeared that Rugby’s resistance would be too much. But no man in black and gold was giving up, and Hampton’s persistence paid off in the most rewarding of fashions as Alex Taylor burrowed over to score under the posts. Benson’s simple conversion went over to take the scoreline to 15-19 and give Hampton what appeared to be an unassailable advantage as time ticked away and a place in the final grew ever closer. There were now only seconds remaining on the clock, but there was time for the kick-off. When Barry won it acrobatically and broke into the Rugby 22, it looked as if victory was secured. But Hampton were penalised at the ruck, and Rugby were given one final opportunity. Winning a penalty on halfway, Rugby kicked to the 5m line, and built a driving maul. Hampton defended it effectively, but were adjudged to have done so illegally. Rugby were granted another go. And this time, they made the most of it, launching a powerful maul and scoring. And there was sport’s ruthless juxtaposition, brutally exposed: Rugby in white – celebratory, victorious; Hampton in black – broken, disconsolate. HSC’s online platform (hamptonsportschronicle.org.uk) live-blogged this match, posting instant, minute-by-minute updates on the semi-final as they happened. To see your work featured online and in print, come to Room 54 on a Friday at 1:15, or see Mr Smith in the English Department.
CUP RUN: FIRST XV’S TENACIOUS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN BROKEN DOWN Almost straight from the kick-off, the team broke to the half-way line with commanding carries from front-rowers Iestyn Humphrey and Reddish. But the best was yet to come – from a set-piece move, Price found Benson with a creative pull-back. Harlequins fly-half Benson sprinted free, showing excellent acceleration to ensure that only one defender was left to beat, and he did exactly that, finding Patrick Silcox with a sublime ball inside to score a wonderful try.
Patrick Silcox dives to score against Uppingham Josh Bartholomew Despite their devastating semi-final defeat, Hampton’s First XV became only the second U18 team to reach a national rugby semi-final in the School’s history. Just 20 schools entered the invitation-only competition, but the calibre of each side is extremely high. Here’s how Hampton reached the latter stages.
Round One: Hampton 21-10 Tonbridge Hampton’s Champions Trophy campaign started with a professional victory over Tonbridge at Hanworth Road. Well-taken tries from Jesper Hartikainen, Alex Taylor and Luke Greenall, as well as nine points from the boot of Jamie Benson secured a trip to Berkhamsted in Round Two.
Round Two: Berkhamsted 0-38 Hampton Despite a tough trip to Hertfordshire against a team stacked with Saracens and England players, Hampton convincingly beat Berkhamsted to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions Trophy.
Hampton raced into an early lead, taking a 12–0 lead to half-time with two tries from Dan Finlay. The away side were equally rampant after the interval, with another Finlay try, along with scores from Rupert Reddish and George Price sending the team back to Hampton with a brilliant 0-38 victory.
Quarter-final: Hampton 27-7 Uppingham In a feisty quarter-final at Hanworth Road, Hampton came through with the spoils after a brilliant first-half performance. Tries from backs Aidan Barry, Patrick Silcox, Rory Carr and Dan Finlay ensured Hampton’s place in the next round to set up a huge game at Rugby School. After powerful forward play forced Hampton into Uppingham’s 22, the First XV quickly found space – centre Tim Lamming combined with Taylor to send Aidan Barry over in the corner. Jamie Benson’s kick from out wide was unsuccessful, leaving Hampton with a 5-0 lead. If Hampton’s first try was professionally taken, their second was sublime.
With the lead at only 12 points, Hampton’s advantage was by no means secure. But they continued to build on their lead, breaking into opposition territory once more. From an attacking five metre scrum – forced after another Benson break – Hampton spread the ball wide, where replacement winger Rory Carr scored. The conversion was again successful. Hampton were entirely in the ascendency now with the pace of their backline play leaving Uppingham with few answers. After Toby Robinson’s skilful turnover on halfway, Hampton spread the ball wide, and London Irish Academy player Hartikainen was able to sprint into open space. He drew the final defender adeptly to allow Finlay to score in the corner, continuing his four-game scoring streak to give Hampton a 24-0 lead at halftime. Hampton eased up a little in the secondhalf, but their quarter-final work was done, winning 27-7. Though the First XV’s Champions Trophy cup run ultimately ended in heartbreak (see opposite), it was Hampton’s first trip to a national rugby semi-final since 2013, representing a formidable achievement for the School. Many of the squad were Lower Sixth, and will return next year with the hopes of avenging their semi-final defeat, steered by the capable hands of a number of academy representatives as the current U16 squad look to step-up and fill the void left by the departing Upper Sixth. 5
Rugby Sevens HAMPTON DOMINATE CRANLEIGH IN FINAL TO WIN FOUNDERS’ DAY SEVENS Hampton 31-12 Cranleigh
CUP RUN Hampton 26-17 St Benedict’s Hampton kicked-off the tournament with a comfortable 26-17 win over St Benedict’s. The First VII surged into a 19-0 lead with tries from Patrick Silcox, Jamie Benson and Dan Finlay, but St Benedict’s threatened with a late comeback, reducing Hampton’s lead to nine points, before U16 winger Ben Freer – on First Team debut – put the result beyond all doubt. Hampton 24-12 Hurstpierpoint Hampton went two from two with a convincing victory over Hurstpierpoint. Again, Hampton stormed into an early lead, this time through a brace from Joe Sykes and scores from Jesper Hartikainen and Aidan Barry. With a 24-0 lead, there was never much of a threat, though Hurtspierpoint did score two late tries to remove some gloss from the scoreline.
Hampton’s First VII beat Cranleigh 31-12 in the Founders’ Day Sevens final to win their own tournament to avenge defeat in the final last year. After winning all four group matches, tries from Joe Sykes, Ethan Knight, Jamie Benson and Aidan Barry were enough to help Hampton to exact revenge over Daily Mail Cup champions Cranleigh, who beat them last season in the final of this competition. Hampton showed excellent patience in the early stages of the match, building methodically with precise passing and skilful stepping. After drawing the Cranleigh defence in, there was space on the outside for winger Sykes to score. All day, Hampton’s play was characterised by acrobatic catching from kick-offs, with Barry and Jesper Hartikainen often leaping highest to claim high balls. The final was no different – this time, Barry caught the ball, but his team were unable to take advantage as Cranleigh built possession for the first time. 6
Defensively, Hampton were equally patient, forcing Cranleigh wider and wider as they retreated down the field. They were, however, able to breach the home team’s 22, before a wily turnover from captain Patrick Silcox halted them in their tracks. Silcox immediately saw space, throwing a perfect offload from the floor to Sykes, who sprinted the length of the field and scored under the posts to give Hampton a 12-0 lead. Hampton and Cranleigh had met four times in the final of this competition, with the boarding school’s victory in 2019 giving the teams two wins each. And Cranleigh weren’t willing to hand Hampton bragging rights back too easily, bouncing back well to score and reduce their deficit to seven. There was time before the interval for one more Hampton attack, though, and they were proving difficult to repel as Dan Finlay sped past his defender on the
outside, before expertly drawing the last man with a pinpoint pass that allowed Harlequins U16 Ethan Knight to score. After half-time, it was clear that tension was building – for a period, neither team was able to overwhelm the other’s defensive endeavour. Hampton, however, were able to break the deadlock, with Sykes once again starring. The winger broke through two tackles before expertly offloading to England U18 Jamie Benson, who stepped the final man dazzlingly to score and all but seal Hampton’s title. Cranleigh hit back shortly after, scoring on the left touchline, but as the clock ticked dead, USA 7s playmaker and Sixth Former Aidan Barry broke through to score the try he deserved, topping his team’s triumph off with a spectacular backflip as he dived to score and give Hampton a glorious victory in their home tournament. Josh Bartholomew
Hampton 26-5 Brighton College Hampton continued their strong campaign with a stunning victory over Brighton College. Once more, Hampton started strongly, as Sykes added two more to his tally, complemented by tries from Benson and Finlay, whose pace was proving hard to match. The home team were able to carry on their fine form after the interval, as Sykes scored his second try by breaking through powerfully to give Hampton an unassailable lead. Hampton 24-5 St John’s Leatherhead One win away from reaching the Cup final for a second consecutive year, Hampton faced a St John’s side who were also unbeaten. Sykes scored yet another try, before Benson and Finlay added their own scores as Hampton’s trademark fast start put yet another team to the sword. Sykes’ sixth try of the tournament in the second half was cancelled out by a late St John’s try, but Hampton had secured their place in the Cup final.
The Step Up Each year, a number of U16 players are selected to play in the School’s senior teams. But what is it like playing up two age-groups? HSC writer Sam Colvine spoke to three Fifth Year sportsmen to hear about their experiences. Jonah Blake: Football Sam Colvine: What would you say is the main difference between U16 and Senior Football? Jonah Blake: To be honest, in terms of ability, I think they’re quite similar but the pace of the game in the Firsts is a lot faster and, obviously, it can be more demanding physically. However, the main difference has to be that, in the U16s, you can afford to switch off for a moment, whereas in the First XI you have to constantly maintain focus throughout the game. SC: Has it been hard to integrate into the team? JB: Initially, it was difficult because, being the only one in a lower year, it can be a challenge to communicate. But football is a team sport so you learn to play with each other whilst becoming familiar with your teammates’ styles. Through this you can build up relationships on the pitch as well as off it too. SC: What was your individual standout performance last season? JB: Although it was a tight game which we eventually lost 3-2, I think my best game was probably against Bradfield which we played on the Hampton and Richmond Borough FC pitch where, after a sluggish start, we came back from two goals down to 2-2. It was a great collective performance against a tricky opposition, just as the team had come together. SC: Do you think that playing so many games has improved you as a player? JB: Obviously lots of different challenges come with it, but, overall, it really helps with technical ability because you have to think quickly and be able to make the right pass - there’s less margin for error. Also, you learn that there are certain parts of your game that you need to develop as your opponents are able to anticipate your every move better than in Lower School football.
First XV and U16 centre Ethan Knight carries the ball
Arjun Bhat: Cricket SC: Was the intensity of the cricket matches on the senior tour to India a shock? Arjun Bhat: No, I think we prepared really well. We had a number of training sessions in the run up to the tour which enabled us to hone our techniques and almost mimic the match intensity that we were going to be facing on tour. SC: What were the differences between the senior tour to India and the junior tour to Dubai? AB: During the Dubai tour, we did play good opposition but the majority of sides were from England, so we were able to gauge the quality of the teams we were playing before the game had began. However, on the India tour we played much better outfits, including local academies that we didn’t know anything about, at fantastic grounds. There was a lot less free time too on the senior tour it was a big learning curve. SC: What was the main message you took from the tour? AB: One of the most important things we learnt as a team on the tour was,
during matches, to fully concentrate on our own game and not to worry about what was going on around us. Personally, the tour exposed a few technical problems in my set-up which I need to work on in the future. SC: How will you take what you learnt from the tour into trying to break into the First XI next year? AB: As a batsman, the main challenge for me in trying to break into the First XI will be learning to face the stronger, more skilful bowlers and becoming accustomed to the higher intensity of the games. I think the India tour was a great opportunity to expose myself to these things and I am sure it will help me in the future.
Ethan Knight: Rugby SC: What was the mentality you took into your first game in the First XV? Ethan Knight: Mainly just to not make any bad mistakes by not trying to do too much. I knew I needed to stick to my own game and to focus on doing all I could to help out the team.
SC: What surprised you most about First XV rugby? EK: Obviously, the standard and intensity of the rugby is a lot higher as well as the pace of the game. The opponents were definitely more physical compared to U16 rugby which made it harder for me to assert myself. SC: Was it hard for you to make the step up? EK: Initially, it definitely was. Keeping up with the backs was a lot harder than in the lower years as they were more agile and quicker. After the first tackle, it’s relentless and you have to give everything to help the team win. SC: How will you take your experiences into your first full season in the First XV? EK: I am going to take what I learnt from the matches I have played this year and use it to develop my game. Hopefully, by doing this, I can help the First XV to be successful next season as well as being the best player I can be at the same time.
FC Not Alone
The lonely road back: How one Old Hamptonian is using football to fight the male mental health battle working, so you lose any hope. Finally, I had a breakthrough in January 2018 and I was pretty much back to being well in about two months – it was a really, really quick turnaround and I’ve been better since.” The admission of losing hope is a deeply sobering one. What happens when you lose hope? Where do you go from there? “That’s where the danger comes in. You’re very tired and lethargic, and when depression becomes severe, suicidal thoughts become a symptom, because you start losing pleasure in everything you have.”
Legg and his cousin Ian being interviewed for Football Focus on the BBC
Matt Legg OH (2015) was 20, about to start his second year at the University of Bath having spent a gap year travelling the world. He told Josh Bartholomew his story. He was working as an au-pair in Spain, earning money for the year ahead. You can picture the scene: the susurrus Mediterranean landscape chirping, the palm trees blowing in the wind.
know what’s going on.’ I didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to eat, didn’t want to shower. I knew I couldn’t go back to university, and that made me realise that something was very, very, very wrong.”
It’s not, however, where you’d expect a young man to be physically struggling to get on a plane, to be fighting against his mind, to reach his lowest ebb. But that’s the situation Matt found himself in. It was his lowest point in a six-month battle against depression. “It was horrible. I was in Spain for a month, but I was hardly sleeping and I couldn’t get on the plane,” he admits with remarkable candour.
Matt, thankfully, has come through his depression and has started the football charity FC Not Alone, which has so far raised over £20,000 for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). But first, he wants to talk – he wants to raise awareness.
“I just sat there and thought: ‘I don’t 8
A common misconception of mental illness is that it comes from nowhere; the brutal reality, however, is that it’s often the descendant of years of insidious building. In Matt’s case, it was no different. “I kind of had little
spells in my A Level year, towards the end of my time at Hampton, but I managed to get to the first year of university. “At uni, I had no idea what was going on. There was no trigger, no anything. I just started to feel more and more numb. I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t open up to my family, I just put on a brave face. It got really, really bad, to the point where I couldn’t speak or concentrate.” Having left university and been diagnosed as having depression and severe anxiety, Matt, with the help of his family, sought to find an effective treatment. But a finding a ‘cure’, he says, is far from simple. “I got treatment from specialists and I was just trying to find the right combination of medication and treatment, which is an arduous process and it feels really long. “That was the scariest period for everyone involved because you’re getting treatment, and then it’s not
‘Did you have suicidal thoughts’, I ask, and Matt’s demeanour immediately, understandably, darkens as he recalls. “Yes, I did,” he responds. “Especially when I had to leave university because nothing was really getting better. Anyone with depression experiences suicidal thoughts – that’s not to say it’s a serious thing, but their thoughtpatterns change towards it. “The most important thing is that you tell someone about those thoughts, even though it feels like the worst thing you can tell anyone. I think the worst thing families feel when they lose someone is: why didn’t they tell me? It’s a tough subject to bring up, but it’s better than never saying anything, never getting help and then taking that irreversible step of taking your own life.” It’s a conversation that is difficult to even comprehend having, and Matt’s description of it is very moving. “It’s the hardest thing in the world because you don’t want your parents to feel like they’ve done a bad job. It’s just like openly admitting that you’re not finding much worth in life. “I spoke to a trained specialist first, and they started the conversation with my family.
The annual tournament has been a resounding success They knew that it’s a symptom of depression, but it’s a really hard conversation – not one I regret having, though.” Having been ‘healthy’ – as he puts it – for over 18 months now, Matt has returned to uni and can look back on his time with depression. Is he proud of getting through it? Does he think it’ll return? “I have no shame of it. It’s still scary because it was such a bad period of my life and my family’s life. When someone suffers from depression, it’s not their fault, but it affects everyone. “It gets less scary every time I think about the period. I’m proud to have got through it, I’m lucky to have got through it, and I’m proud of all the stuff I’ve done since to help other people get through it.” It’s the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, yet male suicide is still an unfathomably ‘taboo’ topic – something which Matt is seeking to change as FC Not Alone rises and rises towards prominence. “When I wasn’t well, I completely stopped doing what I loved. Football was my biggest passion, and suddenly when I left uni, I wasn’t playing and I wasn’t part of anything. “When I didn’t want to see anyone or speak to anyone my cousin persuaded me to go down to a FootyAddicts session. I played a couple of times, and it just gave me a bit of hope that I could get through it. Before I’d thought that I’d never play again because I was so lethargic. “It just gave me a break from everything that was going on, because my life was falling apart: I was out of uni, I was struggling to maintain my relationship with my girlfriend and friends. But for that hour, I had football, and that was
my only focus; it was a really good release for me. As soon as I started to get better, I used football to increase my confidence.” On March 26 2018, 84 statues were placed on the edge of London buildings, alone, to symbolise the perturbing statistic that 84 men take their own life each week. It was the springboard for FC Not Alone. “My cousin (Ian) and I thought we should do something to help this, so we set up a football tournament; we called it FC Not Alone because when I was going through my depression, I didn’t know any other men going through something similar, I didn’t know anyone my age going through something similar – you feel really alone. It’s one of the worst feelings. “It seemed like quite an obvious idea for people feeling like that to be able to join a community and not feel so alone. If 84 people a week are taking their own lives, then the number of people attempting to will be a fair bit higher.”
because you never know how people will react, I was really nervous. But as soon as I put it out, I got loads of messages from people saying that they knew someone who’d been through something similar.
“I think they’re trying to reach the men who feel too proud to speak up and therefore go down a very dark road which could lead to them taking their lives. They’re the people that the FA are trying to get through to.”
“The number of people wanting to be a part of the tournament and FC Not Alone, wanting to raise money and awareness, was breathtaking. The reaction from everyone was incredible.”
FC Not Alone’s football tournament took place again in 2019, and this time, they had a few players on a slightly different plane to the rest. “This year I played in the tournament and someone came over to me and said: ‘Rhian Brewster’s here.’ I thought it was pretty unlikely, but I went over and there was Brewster and some other Liverpool academy players.
The first edition of FC Not Alone took place in June 2018, amid the World Cup and England’s football frenzy. Matt and Ian’s philanthropy soon gained awareness, and the pair quickly became a part of the FA’s Heads Together campaign, a seasonlong initiative trying to change the way people view mental health. “We were then part of the advert, which is probably the best thing I’ve been a part of. Within that, we met Gareth Southgate, I spoke to Prince William about what I’d been through and what we’d done.” The campaign is gathering pace. FC Not Alone were in the Community Shield programme, and awareness of Britain’s mental health problem is slowly improving. Whether it’s successful or not, however, is another question. “I think it has a really good chance of changing the way people think about and speak about mental health,” Matt says.
“Someone came over to me and said: ‘Rhian Brewster’s here...’” “The way people treat others who are struggling with mental health, the language they use, all needs to change. I think the main aim is just trying to equate mental and physical health. If it’s going to happen, this campaign has a very good chance of doing it.
Matt and Ian decided to plan a football tournament in London for later in 2018, but first, the Old Hamptonian had to share his story. It was, he recalls, a nerve-wracking event. “I posted my story online and,
“You’ve got two of the most powerful bodies in the country leading this initiative with a seemingly unlimited budget. It’s going to be pushed in international matches, in the school curriculum, at the grassroots level. It’s got a wide audience.
“The first year, it got on the news through the novelty of it, but with Brewster coming it allowed us to continue getting publicity. It was mad in the days after it, seeing him tweet a picture of with #MentalHealthMatters, and below that was a picture of him running onto the pitch after winning the Champions League.” Matt has returned to university, started playing football again, and continues to run FC Not Alone with Ian. And it feels as if something’s changing. But what is driving him? “I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve started conversations about this topic so that people will get help way before I did. Also, raising money for CALM, who run a helpline from 5 pm until midnight every day. They really do save lives, giving people the help they need.” That’s the crux of it. Helping people. And if everyone helped people like Matt and Ian, perhaps the 84 men would become 83, and the 83 would become 82. And perhaps eventually the 82 would be far, far lower.
For more information, visit fcnotalone.com or thecalmzone.net/donate.
Football FOOTBALLING ENTREPRENEURS After finding a local team in need of fresh ownership, seven recent Hampton leavers bought Walton & Hersham FC. Josh Hood went to meet Calogero Scannella OH (2018) - one of the non-league team’s new owners. can be quite costly.” On top of losing an influential player to the side, this system equally neglects investment in youth, encouraging the idea that better players can be bought by bigger sides for a small sum. So this is another issue to add to all the normal problems that occur at football clubs.
After Calogero Scannella wrote himself into Hampton folklore by scoring a hat-trick to win the Under 15 ISFA Cup Final in 2015, you would have been forgiven for thinking that he’d reached his footballing peak. Yet now, joined by six fellow OHs and a loyal legion of established fans, Scannella is at the helm of Walton & Hersham FC – a previously declining non-league team who’ve been taken over by a record-breaking group of seven Old Hamptonians.
“Having previously been owned by the same family for 50 years (the father for 30 and then his son for a further 20), there was uncertainty for us about how the ‘life-long’ supporters would feel about the situation,” he explained. This was especially a problem since the majority of the support was attracted quite a few years ago when the club was at the peak of its success.
Calogero is now owner of a football club, despite leaving Hampton only two years ago. Although it’s a very prominent aspect of their lives now, the idea of becoming ‘footballing entrepreneurs’ in the way that Calogero and his six colleagues have done started out as a “distant prospect” and was often joked about as being “an opportunity to succeed in a real-life Football Manager experience” by the group of Old Hamptonians. When asked if the well-known online video game resembled his experiences in the past few months in the business, Calogero’s answer was short and sharp: “No.” He proceeded to explain the vast array of footballing issues related to the job that do not feature on the footballing career simulation, yet still occur on a daily basis for him and his colleagues – from players’ wages to contacting the league organisers over disciplinary matters. Calogero, who is in charge of the latter, went on to discuss some of the issues in his area of the management process. “There’s an endless ‘todo list’ in the role.” But with the “relentless atmosphere” of the job, it is extremely helpful to have “six others” to share the tasks involved.
Calogero’s fellow director Sartej Tucker OH (2018) with manager George Busumbru Equally, from time to time the job can have an element of comedy – particularly on the playing side. “Goalkeepers are a big problem for us,” Calogero tells me. “It’s like a curse. We’ve got through seven since taking over at the club.” There’s a wide variety of causes for this seemingly huge number of keepers that have left during this time period – including disciplinary issues (red cards and suspensions), competition (other clubs willing to give a higher wage) and sheer impatience and dissatisfaction – a lack of tolerance for the club’s early performances. Later, Calogero explored another challenging aspect of his role. While a crucial factor in the club’s recent good form has been the players’ grounding and ‘down to earth’ mentality, he suggested that, should a successful run develop and promotion become a possibility, other bigger and more financially stable clubs are likely to come swooping in with plenty of appealing offers for the
club’s players. “It happens everywhere,” says Calogero, “from the Vanarama 10th Division to the Premier League – it’s just inevitable.” Though it’s a permanent feature of the world of football, it can make life difficult for the management of lesser sides, and the effects are even more alarming due to the utter disregard for loyalty at this level of football.
“Other bigger and more financially stable clubs are likely to come swooping in” “As all players at this level of football and a number of levels above play the game as a part-time occupation, passion and integrity often aren’t priorities as much as wages,” adds Calogero. “Therefore, when an exciting offer comes in from a new club, mostly they will leave, and this
However, despite the club’s most recent largely unsuccessful results, the fans took to the new owners’ youthfulness and energy, and they reserved “a great reception” for the aspiring business students. Just as importantly, says Calogero, “the players’ cooperation was key” – and this came equally willingly. “The boys are all young and the squad is very down to earth, which helps a lot,” adds Calogero while talking about the reasons for their firm grounding. Another crucial aspect of the boys’ success is the sense that arrogance on their part will not help to improve results. There’s seemingly nothing more you can ask of them if they carry on in this way. On the other hand, despite the very courteous welcome from the existing fans, Calogero couldn’t stress enough the importance of attracting new fans to support the team and keep the business running.
“On the day that the BBC came to film our match,” remembers Calogero, “we opened the gates for free – so our only source of income for that game was through selling programmes.” Compared to the usual attendance of between 400 and 500 people, that day the number of fans shot up to well over 1,000. Of course, these modest moments of success are what makes the role worth taking on. His favourite of these small-scale achievements was in fact the afternoon on which the game was filmed and broadcast live by the media. Despite missing a penalty and having a player sent off in the tunnel at half time, the game did eventually end in a positive as the Red and Whites scored a last-minute winner to earn the three points that they thoroughly deserved. “One of the best things about it was the fact that it happened in front of so many people in such an extraordinary manner,” observes Calogero, before referring back to the advantages of ticket sales. His strong urge to take advantage of the surge in attendance for the game was immediately addressed as he went on to discuss
the Hamptonians’ entrepreneurial vision for the future of Walton & Hersham FC and how to sustain these excellent figures. The first of his aims involves simply selling more tickets. Having opened the gates free of charge to all the players at Walton Casuals Youth FC (a neighbouring club), he now wants to introduce the same scheme for all boys at Hampton School, “which should equally boost attendances.” Another very interesting part of his job is the psychological side: this new life is very different to his previous experience in football. In spite of the undeniable challenge of his former role as a composed, goal-scoring, match-winning striker for the Hampton U15A team, being in such a unique position as player as well as chairman arguably is an even greater challenge. “Being able to switch off from the chairman-related distractions can be difficult – but at the end of the day, it is a vital trait to possess if you are going to progress, both personally and as a team.” As is the case in many different circumstances, when he was young Calogero wanted to
pursue a football-related career, much as millions of other children around the world. With football’s nature as a global sport and the intense competition that comes as a result, a Guinness World Record is a complete rarity. Yet Scannella and his fellow Old Hamptonians have managed to accomplish this feat – their record was confirmed last year – meaning that, across the world, their achievement is yet to be surpassed. It makes their ownership all the more remarkable, but Scannella insists that it isn’t what drives him. “Admittedly,” he claims, “it was by no means a childhood vision of mine that had been carefully planned for years, but simply an idea that arose out of nothing at the beginning of this year.” From then on, the enthusiastic entrepreneurs have never looked back, despite the endlessly unpredictable nature of the game. How long does he think he will continue to invest his time and energy in the club? Calogero explains that his time spent running the side would be based on results that the team can earn rather than a specific
“Being able to switch off from the chairman-related distractions can be difficult but it is a vital trait to possess” “Obviously, should everything go to plan and the side sustains a successful spell for a matter of years, we will have to leave eventually. However I would like to think that any change should come about only after we have made a considerable impact on proceedings here, rather than just turning up and disappearing again.” Although no longer beating his opponent on the wing, Calogero and his six vice chairmen have achieved extraordinary feats since leaving Hampton two years ago. While the likes of Lionel Messi can perfect an ability to deliver on the field, it is personalities like the seven committed Old Hamptonians that are just as responsible for the remarkable success of the roundball game across the globe. 11
ACROSS THE ATLANTIC Many of Hampton’s senior sportsmen are awarded Sports Scholarships at American universities after leaving the school. Vishal Saha caught up with four of them, from various sports, to find out about their experiences in the USA.
Some of Hampton’s present and former American scholars (l-r): George Maxwell, Jens Clausen, Liam Cox, Adam Hunt.
Football - George Maxwell OH (2019) Vishal Saha: Which American university did you decide to go to and why? George Maxwell: I now go to the College of Charleston in South Carolina. For me, the decision was made by speaking to the coaches at the university and trusting them, and also the location of the university as Charleston is ranked as one of the best cities in the States. VS: What has it been like moving from the UK to the US? How did you feel you are settling and how is the social side? GM: At the start it was strange moving so far from home. The biggest thing to adjust to was the weather, as when I first joined in the summer each day was around 35 degrees, so training was a lot harder than I was used to. I’m just about to finish my first semester and have settled in really well, a lot of that is thanks to the boys on the team who I’ve become good mates with. VS: What’s the difference between the American coaches’ game approach to the sport compared to the ones you have had before? 12
GM: My experience so far is that it has not been too different. I actually have two coaches on our staff from the UK so they have very similar ideas to me and coaches I’ve had before. I’d say the main difference in the style of play is the emphasis put on athleticism: generally players may not be as technical, but will be really physically developed. VS: What are your plans or aspirations for your footballing career? GM: My main goal at the moment is to keep working hard at Charleston and to try and win the conference championship in the next three seasons. After Charleston, if there is an opportunity to turn professional, I would love to do that, but we’ll see what the future holds! VS: Captaining last year’s winning ESFA team, describe how confident you feel entering this process and why? GM: It did give me a boost coming to America coming off the back of last season. Winning the ESFA Cup was incredible, but I think the season as a whole really gave me the confidence I needed to come here and hit the ground running - it was an amazing year and I have great memories from my time as a First XI player.
VS: Many Hampton boys have been inspired by your performances – do you have any tips for anyone trying to follow your path? GM: In terms of looking at American universities for football, the main thing is to have good match footage, a good ACT/SAT score and to know what type of university you want to attend. Good luck to any boys who are trying to do the same!
Rowing - Jens Clausen OH (2016) VS: Which American University did you decide to go to and why? Jens Clausen: I’m at Princeton but I was looking into Harvard and Yale too when doing the applications. I chose Princeton because I loved the atmosphere when I visited and the people there helped me a lot with getting through the somewhat lengthy application process. I felt it was the place where I would be best able to achieve my academic and sporting goals for the next few years. For me, choosing a university is about going where you feel comfortable, especially in the US where you don’t have to commit to a particular course until one or two years into the degree.
VS: What has been the biggest difference about rowing in the USA and how have you found the social side? JC: The main difference about the rowing in the USA is the winter season. At Princeton, our lake freezes over for most of December and January so we are forced indoors for that period. While it might seem daunting and monotonous, it’s a great time to develop pure physiology. This period is usually where the winning universities set themselves out from the rest. The social side at Princeton is unlike most US universities because fraternity life is not big at all (this is something I like a lot about it). While at many other unis your social scene can be massively affected by what organisation you are a part of, Princeton prides itself on being very open. It’s a small community (around 5,000 students) in rural New Jersey so by the time you’ve spent a few months there you start to see that most people you meet know at least one of the people you are close to. While this, depending on the situation, can be either positive or negative, it creates a very open and friendly feel.
VS: During your time in the US has there been a university rowing achievement which you are particularly proud of and why? JC: I’m particularly proud of my first season at Princeton where I was in the 2V (Second 8+) where we beat Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Navy in our respective 1v1 ‘duel races’ through the spring and culminated the season winning the Eastern Sprints (East Coast university regatta). I was particularly proud of our consistency and ruthlessness under pressure, as we were the favourites going into the race. We were commanding right from the start and absorbed everything that was thrown at us. VS: Rowing is a popular sport at Hampton, are there any tips you would like to give to anyone following your sporting path? JC: I would try to urge people to remember the bigger picture. It’s easy to get caught up on the next session, the next erg or the next race, which can detract from being able to see what you can do over the coming months as a whole in order to develop into a better athlete. I would encourage anyone to give rowing a try. If you’re doing it right, it’s very hard but the harder it is, the more you’ll love it.
Golf - Liam Cox OH (2013)
didn’t have time to think about what I missed from home, and that enabled me to settle in very quickly. I was also lucky to have very welcoming teammates who made me feel at ease straight away and helped me understand a lot of American idiosyncrasies. It took me a little bit longer to adjust to different ways of working academically, but there was a huge amount of support available to international students to help make those adjustments. VS: How did your time in the US help you to develop your golf? LC: The courses that host US college tournaments are generally very long and very difficult, forcing the player to perform well in every department. When I went to college in 2013, I was quite short off the tee and thereby effectively giving everyone else a head start. Through our team’s strength and conditioning programme and some changes to my swing, I went from being a short hitter - by college standards - to quite a long one, which really helped my performance on the bigger courses. More than anything though, my mental and strategic approaches to the game both went to the next level. I put this down to spending hours and hours, everyday, around elite players and coaches with a wealth of experience. I was constantly asking them questions and trying to absorb as much knowledge as I could, which I then applied to my own game.
VS: Which American University did you decide to go to and why? Liam Cox: I left Hampton after Sixth Form in 2013 and went to the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana. My main motivation for going to university in the USA was to develop my golfing ability alongside stretching myself in the classroom and getting the best education available to me. I was also keen simply to spend four years in a different country, to meet different kinds of people and grow as a person.
VS: Do you have any tips for anyone trying to follow your path? LC: Throughout the four years, it’s important to keep clear longterm goals and structure every day around achieving those. Whether you want to turn professional after you graduate, follow a different career path, or maybe even pursue academia, there will always be other possibilities available to you as well as distractions along the way. Remembering why you are there in the first place will keep you focussed.
VS: What was it like moving from the UK to the US? How did you settle? LC: Initially I was a little bit nervous, but that feeling quickly went away during the first few days of being on campus. I was so busy I really
Finally, I think it’s really important to make the most of the resources you have at your disposal. One of the best aspects of playing sports at university in the US is that a lot of investment is made by a huge number of people in the performance of the team, and the
individuals within the team. Everyone is there to help you, so don’t be shy in asking what they can do to help you improve.
Tennis - Adam Hunt OH (2008) VS: Which American University did you decide go to and why? Adam Hunt: I left Hampton in 2008 and decided to attend Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. I had been offered a full tennis scholarship by a few universities in the US, including Mercer, and I chose there because it was the best fit for me in terms of academics and tennis. VS: Were you happy with your decision to go to this University and how do you think it has affected your career path? AH: For someone in my position who played sport to a national level and was also focused on academics, the American university system provides the perfect choice to continue my studies. I was able to continue to improve at tennis and represent my university all over the US in team competitions while also earning my degree in journalism and politics. VS: Can you tell us how reporting styles and journalism differ in the US to the UK? AH: There are many similarities but there are several fundamental differences. These include simple stylistic and language choices that journalists make in the two countries, as well as the laws governing journalistic practices (libel, freedom
of information and so on) can be quite different and this affects how reporters go about their daily business. However, despite these differences, I have worked for both British and American TV and radio stations so it is possible to cater to both. VS: What tips would you give current Hamptonians who are thinking about studying in the USA? Firstly, do your research - the more you know, the easier it is to make a good decision about where to go to university. The system is very different to the British university system. If possible, visit some universities in the US. There is a big difference between how a university appears online to the feel of the place in real life. Finally, budget carefully. Tuition fees and other costs vary massively across each university. Scholarships and financial aid can help with many of these but it is important to understand the costs involved. VS: When did you start considering a job in journalism? Was this while you were at University? AH: I have always wanted to be a sports journalist ever since I was at Hampton, as avid readers of the Hampton Sports Chronicle circa 2006-2008 will testify! But it wasn’t until university that I began to focus on broadcasting by getting involved in student TV and radio which led to the career I have now.
Hunt is perhaps best known for his presenting role with Sky Sports News 13
BEHIND THE SCENES Hampton’s First XI travelled to India last Christmas for their Senior Cricket Tour. Seam bowler and HSC writer Keiran Downer wrote this diary, outlining the memorable moments of the trip. Day One – 26 December After a day full of festivities, the 19-strong contingent of staff and students congregated on Boxing Day to jet off to India. Day Two – 27 December Landing in the early morning, we drove through the humid and sleepless city of Mumbai to our hotel. We boarded the coach to the prestigious Maidan Oval (a vertical stretch of eight cricket pitches in the middle of the city). Seeing the city in daylight awakened us to the mass poverty and grey, polluted sky surrounding the city. The session, although tiring due to the humidity and temperature, was hugely beneficial as it made us more aware of the bumpy outfield and more accustomed to Indian wickets. After the net session, we travelled back to the hotel to cool off in the pool. Day Three – 28 December Vengsarkar Academy Mumbai 185 all out (39.5 overs, Seth 3-15, Kiritharan 2-31) Hampton School 132 all out (31.4 overs, Avant-Smith 41) Vengsarkar Academy win by 53 runs
After a mixed selection of Indian and Western breakfasts, we made the short journey back to the Maidan to play our first game of the tour on the same square that we trained on the previous day. After losing the toss we were put in to bowl against a strong ELF Vengsarkar Academy XI.
Despite some lacklustre fielding and average bowling, we managed to skittle the opposition for 185, with Kyle Seth taking three wickets, Mikey Ford and Pravin Kiritharan taking two each, with Tanmay Thanawalla taking four impressive catches.
Day Four – 29 December The following day brought our guided tour of Mumbai, where we visited iconic landmarks, such as the Gateway of India, Mani Bhavan (where Gandhi stayed on visits to Mumbai) and the Hanging Gardens.
Hampton responded strongly with top order batsmen Arjun Bhat and Jack Berg laying a foundation, yet wickets fell at a steady stream with partnerships being hard to sustain. That said, Matt Avant-Smith’s aggressive counter-attacking reignited some hope in the Hampton tent – hitting 42 runs off 28 balls.
Day Five – 30 December Hampton School 114 all out (49.1 overs, Ford 29*) Jwala Academy Mumbai 122 – 5 (26.3 overs, Seth 3-34) Jwala Academy win by five wickets
This, coupled with patient, fighting performances from the likes of Sandy Mitchell, helped provide longevity to the chase as wickets tumbled.
After batting first on a tough wicket in game two, Hampton were left at 29-4. Then the Mumbai sun led Hampton out of the frying pan into the fire as the wicket dried up for their impressive spinners to turn the ball sideways.
Unfortunately, Hampton were not able to chase down the total, being bowled out for 132 on a turning, bouncing wicket after just 32 overs.
Despite this, a lower order resurgence led by Mikey Ford (29no) and Tom Chandler (16) helped Hampton to 114.
The start of the second innings saw bad balls mercilessly punished on a wicket that now seemed all too easy to bat on, all the more frustrating for bowlers after a catch was put down at mid-on. Yet it was eventually leg spinner Gurmehar Samra who set Hampton off with a breakthrough. This led to fellow spinners Kyle Seth (3-34) and Matt Avant-Smith (1-11) providing some fight back for Hampton, though Jwala secured the win. Day Six – 31 December Vengsarkar Academy Mumbai 203 all out (40 overs) Hampton School 187 all out (38.2 overs, Manuel 42) Vengsarkar Academy win by 16 runs New Year’s Eve saw us return to the Maidan Oval to play an altered ELF Vengsarkar side. After winning the toss we headed out onto the Maidan for our last game in Mumbai. The match began with a good contest between our seamers and their top order, with the home team struggling at 57-4 at one point. Eventually the Academy reached 203 all out with Tanmay Thanawalla taking another set of four impressive catches. At the interval we had the chance to talk to former Indian Test cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar himself, who had been watching the first innings unfold. Hampton began the second innings strongly with the bat, with Jack Berg (29), Will Greenall (33) and Denil Manuel (43) playing assured knocks to push the team up towards the target. Yet unnecessary wickets combined with impressive fielding efforts from the opposition led to a collapse of our tail, leaving us an agonising seventeen runs short at 187 all out. After the loss we headed back to the hotel before going out for a meal to celebrate the new decade. Day Seven – 1 January Hampton School 159-7 (20 overs, Chandler 48) SGVP School Ahmedabad 117 all out (19.5 overs, Avant-Smith 2/8) Hampton win by 42 runs
Game four was a T20 match played against SGVP International School in our new destination – Ahmedabad. The immaculate pitch was surrounded by three grand, authentic Gujarati buildings: the school, the hostel and the religious centre. Batting first we accumulated 1597, with a lavish 100 run partnership shared by Denil Manuel (46) and Tom Chandler (48) arriving just in time after more early wickets falling. As the sun set and the second innings began, our opponents leapt to 60-0 off the first seven overs and looked set to overcome our total. Yet key wickets from Pravin Kiritharan (two wickets and a run out), Matt Avant-Smith (three wickets) and Keiran Downer (one wicket and a run out), as well as exemplary catching, ensuring that Arjun Bhat was able to secure the win with the final wicket. This left SGVP 117 all out, meaning a gutsy 42 run win to Hampton. Afterwards, there was a post-match ceremony led by their religious leader Swamiji, as we all received a bindi and SGVP vestments. Day Eight – 2 January Hampton School 138 all out (38.4 overs, Berg 50) St. Kabir School Ahmedabad 141-2 (31.2 overs) St. Kabir School win by eight wickets The penultimate game was played against St. Kabir School. After winning the toss, our top order reached 111-4 with solid knocks from Jack Berg (50) and Pravin Kiritharan (27). Despite a strong start we then succumbed to 138 all out due to reckless batting and tight spin bowling from the opposition.
Unfortunately this proved impossible to defend, as the opposition’s top three batsman played out their innings slowly but assertively, arriving at 141-2 in 30 overs.
number 11 Pranav Pandey who offered our last glimmer of hope. In a dramatic finish we fell just one run short as we were all out for 183.
Day Nine – 3 January Gujarat Lions 184 all out (45 overs, Avant-Smith 1/9) Hampton School 183 all out (35.5 overs, Greenall 71) Gujarat Lions win by one run The final match of the tour was played at the same venue as the previous game, The Shantigram, against a Gujarat Lions XI. Fielding first the new ball was counter-attacked by one of their openers, but Hampton managed to limit the total to 184. After lunch, and a pitch invasion from some local monkeys, Hampton surged towards the target, with the highest score of the tour attained by explosive opener Will Greenall (71) and another assured middle order innings from Tom Chandler (32). Yet the First XI once again succumbed to a collapse that could not be miraculously saved by dogged
Day Ten – 4 January On the last full day of the trip we toured the city of Ahmedabad. We visited Jain and Hindu temples, having to wear dhotis (traditional Gujarati trousers) to enter. The tour enlightened us as to the history of the city, as well as the current poverty suffered by many of its inhabitants. Day 11 – 5 January At 3:45 the next morning we departed our hotel to head to the airport to fly home following an inspirational, eye-opening experience – having learned important lessons regarding our cricket, yet having also enjoyed playing at unforgettable locations.
Football Director of Sport Mr Carlos Mills has been involved with the School for over twenty years, winning numerous national trophies along the way, including last season’s ESFA triumph. He told Jago Doherty the story of his success. When speaking to HSC he said, “It is difficult to be consistent for long spells in sport but that is our aim really for any coach, any player in the A teams and First XI. That’s what the experience of doing well in national competitions gives me.” As well as being the coach of the Hampton U16As, Mr Mills is also the School’s Director of Sport. “My job is really to promote sport at the top level and also to support and promote sport all the way down to grassroots and make the most of our facilities, to get the most out of our boys,” he says. During Mr Mills’ time at Hampton there have been many new facilities added, a key one being the 3G pitch that hosts many crucial games as well as acting as a great playground for pupils.
Mr Mills on the sidelines at the ESFA final last April In April 2019, Mr Carlos Mills guided the Hampton School First XI to their first ever ESFA U18 Cup victory, and in doing so cemented his place in the Hampton history books as one of the most decorated coaches the School has had. Mr Mills joined Hampton School in September 1999. For years he coached the prestigious Hampton First XI, with whom he won two ISFA cups and of course the ESFA U18 Cup to Mr Mills joined Hampton in September 1999. For years he coached the prestigious First XI, with whom he reached five ISFA Cup finals – winning two – and was victorious in the ESFA U18 Cup last April. Even though winning trophies is a great experience for a manager and his players, Mr Mills’ highlight of the ESFA campaign was the team itself and how they developed. “It started the season before where they struggled a bit, and it was in the new year where they really came on leaps and bounds,” says Mr Mills when asked about how his final First 16 8
XI developed. Despite coaching many winning sides in national competitions, when asked what his favourite team to coach was, Mr Mills told HSC: “I would certainly say that the winning ESFA side was one of the most rewarding. The team’s journey started in the second half of the season before.” “I remember having many discussions with Mr Ritchie about how we could get the best out of the team and we felt we wanted to strip back to our basic principles, hard work, teamwork, concentrating on being the best passing side and keeping possession – and above all play with high energy, focus and enjoyment.” “Credit must go to Will Davis, the previous captain, who then handed over to George Maxwell. Both were very different in their characters but both were completely committed, proud and passionate and were outstanding in training and on the pitch.”
At the start of the 2019/20 academic year, Mr Mills stepped down an age group to coach the Hampton U16As, leaving his beloved First XI. Many coaches might have tried to rethink their tactics and coaching style had they dropped down an age group, but the new U16A coach decided not to do that.
“Last year’s First XI was one of the most rewarding teams I’ve coached” When asked how coaching the First XI differs from the U16s he said, “The message I gave to them at the start of the year was that I wasn’t going to treat them any different.” “I was the First XI coach for many years and I was going to follow that same process.” One of the many things that Mr Mills brought to the U16As was his obvious experience in the ESFA Cup.
When asked why it was built, Mr Mills said: “to help to play more football and more sport and to support football and rugby.” Hampton footballers will have heard about the mysterious ‘Hampton way’, but to many of them the meaning is unknown. “There was a certain Mr McLean,” says Mr Mills, “who ran the First XI for many years and he was very adamant that we needed to play the passing style of football.” “That was the most challenging way we believe that any footballer or any boy should be playing the game, keeping it on the floor – and then it evolved from there.” “The Hampton way is keeping the ball and playing possession football – and at times it might be easier to be more direct and play long passes, but we are fast in attack and keep the ball for long spells. And hopefully, with patience and quality, we will overcome the opposition.”
Football First XI midfielder Stathis Kalathias has juggled his School career with playing for QPR’s Academy - but what’s it like having a foot in the door at a professional club? HSC writer Dan Cubbon found out. Upper Sixth footballer Stathis Kalathias played a substantial part in Hampton’s 2019 ESFA Cup triumph, but his story doesn’t just include School football. Having signed for Tottenham when he joined the School, Stathis has already enjoyed a long career, playing with Queens Park Rangers for nearly seven years. Stathis contributed to Hampton’s win in the ESFA Cup final by scoring a penalty in the shootout, giving Hampton the match point which they took straight away. Stathis joined in the First Year, when he received a trial for Tottenham and was offered the chance to play for their academy. He took up the place offered and started playing academy football whilst also juggling sport at Hampton as well as education. “I found it hard at first,” he remembers. “It was hard to concentrate in lessons and reach homework deadlines, but I eventually made it work by doing the little things – staying in the library after School and doing homework the day it was set. It’s easy once you get used to it.” Stathis has been in the top teams throughout his time at Hampton and has endured the highs and lows each season in the yellow shirt. “Each season there have been ups and downs, especially in Third Year. Having to have an operation
Kalathias celebrates in front of the Hampton fans on my knee and miss the season was horrible. However, now I feel that it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has made me a better player. Coming back to football felt brilliant.” The ESFA Cup is the biggest school tournament in England. Hampton had never won the U18 tournament, but in 2019, the First XI did so to make history. Stathis came off the bench in the
final and scored an important penalty in the penalty shootout win. “I was frustrated not to start. I wanted to do whatever I could for the team. However, if I came on I knew I would take a penalty if the match went all the way – which, luckily for us, it did. I wasn’t really thinking when I took the penalty, I just knew that if we lost, we lost together. To see my penalty go in was incredible. I knew at that moment that I’d done all I could for the team.” Despite winning on penalties, the game hadn’t been in Hampton’s favour for long. The team went 1-0 down just before half-time and the equaliser only came seconds before the full-time whistle. The comeback made it even better for the 900 in attendance, and for the Hampton team. “I was relieved,” Stathis recalls. “To not be as involved as others was hard to take, but to win was an amazing feeling for us and everyone who came to support us.”
Kalathias in action against Gordon’s School last season
Stathis’ success at doesn’t end at the however. Winning the Cup two years ago
the School ESFA Cup, London ISFA was another
highlight. “Winning that and being Man-of-the-Match was amazing,” he says. “I had helped the team to victory and had done my part for the team. That feeling was incredible. I’ve had higher expectations which has helped me play better.” Stathis’ time with the Hampton First XI has been full of success, and his academy story isn’t much different. “I signed for Tottenham when I was 11. However, things didn’t work out and I was devastated. Whilst this was bad for my career, Tottenham were really helpful and introduced me to QPR, and I love playing for QPR U18’s. “There are different paths that I can choose. I want to do what is best for me and plan my career properly. However, I will always aim to go higher and higher. QPR are great but I will always aim to be the best.” Stathis has now finished playing football for the First XI after their season was cut short. He has been offered a Football Scholarship to Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, USA.
Rowing Aged only 21, Ollie Stanhope OH (2016) has three World Championship Golds to his name, and would have been preparing to race at the Tokyo Paralympics this summer before it was delayed due to the Coronavirus. But how does an athlete cope with being unable to compete? Josh Bartholomew spoke to Ollie to find out. In a normal world, Ollie Stanhope OH (2016) would be mere months away from rowing in his first Paralympic Games, in Tokyo. With three World Golds already to his name, he’d be training two or three times a day, preparing himself mentally and looking ahead to the zenith of professional sport. Coronavirus, though, has ensured that we’re far from a normal world. In this dystopian reality, Stanhope is using a rowing machine in his garage once a day, attempting to maintain some level of fitness for when the sport eventually returns. When will that be? Nobody knows, but it’s a question plaguing the minds of professional athletes across the globe as they seek to preserve a scintilla of normality despite the uncertainty sweeping through the population. Unsurprisingly, given the difficulties surrounding his current situation, Stanhope is reflective about the unfortunate circumstances this summer and the reality that he’ll be forced to wait another 12 months to fulfil a life-long ambition. “It’s tough,” he admits over the phone to HSC. “We got selected in February, so you start really looking forward to it. To have that taken away is quite hard – your dream gets a lot further away. That’s really difficult.”
Reliably assiduous, though, Stanhope is keen to accept the reality of the cancellation and move on to preparing for when the Paralympics will actually take place – in 2021. “We’re trying to control the controllable elements and make sure that we make the best out of a bad situation. “Everyone’s going through it, so we’re all in a similar boat. Rowing’s a hard sport to carry out with social distancing, so we’ll have to look at how we come back on the water.” Crucially, Stanhope’s training hasn’t been affected too greatly by the recent lockdown measures. Unlike most sports, rowing is fairly replicable – the existence of rowing machines makes the indoor training pretty accurate. “The only problem I’ve had training-wise is the lack of physio,” he says. However, Stanhope is well-placed to deal with his current travails. As a para-athlete, adversity is something that Stanhope has had to deal with for his entire life. Born with mild Cerebral Palsy (CP), he was instantly attracted to rowing and raced for his local club until he was 16.
Attending Halliford School in Shepperton until the completion of his GCSEs, in 2014, Stanhope came into contact with Mr Neil Double through the GB Junior scheme, who suggested he should come to Hampton. “I made my biggest steps here,” he recalls. “It’s such a professional environment – it’s very well-run. “When I first came to Hampton, I was really bad; I was in the Third VIII, but I managed to work my way up through the boats. “The Hampton community is awesome – it’s one of the most welcoming places I’ve been to. The ethos here is unbeatable. When I first came down to the Boat House, I didn’t know anybody, but the Hampton boys treated me really well.” Despite a sparkling trophy cabinet, containing three World Golds from his time with GB, Stanhope asserts that his greatest achievement in the sport is qualifying for the Temple Challenge Cup with the Second VIII in 2015. “I’d worked my way up from the lower boats. I was pretty low at the time, thinking I wasn’t very good at rowing at all, and I was just gritting
my way through, slowly moving up boats. “When we qualified for the Temple Cup, we were the fastest schoolboy crew. It was against all the odds, and I was like: Wow, we’ve done something that Hampton don’t do very often.’” Despite his affliction, Stanhope competed in able-bodied rowing until he left School, and joined Oxford Brookes’ prestigious program at university. Only months later, though, he was out – his rowing machine scores weren’t good enough. He got a job at Tesco and tried to find a place for the sport elsewhere in his life.
“One of the other guys in my team had both his legs blown off in Afghanistan, so you get a sense of perspective”
It was here that the thought of competing in the disabled version of the sport arose. “My old rowing coach had told my university coaches that I would classify as a disabled athlete. When I was kicked out, I got a call from Tom Dyson, British Rowing’s Lead Paralympic Pathway coach. He offered me a spot on the para team. “It took me a while to get into it, but I committed fully and was funded by February 2017.” Having competed at the top level of rowing at Hampton, Stanhope knew he was able to cope with the intensity of professional competition, but the process of ensuring he maximised his potential was far from a simple one. “Admittedly, the adult para squad is a similar level to age-group international able-bodied rowing, so I knew that I had the ability to get there – it was just about making sure that I did. “I’d learnt all the skills that I needed at Hampton. There were some really good rowers coming through at the same time as me: Dom Jackson,
Tom Worthington, Jens Clausen. I was comparing with them, so I knew that I was in the area I needed to be a successful para-athlete.” The rest, as they say, is history. Stanhope has competed in three World Championship regattas since and won Gold in all three. Had Covid-19 not thwarted his ambitions for Tokyo, the British boat would’ve been overwhelming favourites to win the Paralympic race too. But his success hasn’t been as simple as it would appear. With a mild disability, Stanhope has found it difficult to cope with the relative simplicity of his plight compared to some of his peers. “When you join the para team, you learn pretty quickly that – although you think your life is difficult – there are plenty of people out there much worse off. One of the other guys in my team had both his legs blown off in Afghanistan, so you get a sense of perspective. “It’s quite hard to be amongst those people and still consider yourself a para-athlete. That line’s quite difficult, because you’re with people who’ve been through so much, and you’ve just got mild CP and reduced ankle movement.”
Stanhope plans to compete until the end of the next Paralympic cycle, at least, taking him through to Paris 2024. Should his current rate of success continue, he’d retire as one of Britain’s most celebrated athletes. But what explains his achievements? “I can’t play down the impact of Mr Woods and Mr Double,” he says. “Without them, I wouldn’t have the mental toughness and technique to
compete at the level that I do now. I owe all the improvements I’ve made to the procedures they put in place. “They’re very, very good at drilling people. They won’t take anybody who doesn’t want to be part of a team or put the team before themselves. “At senior level, most people work for themselves, but I think it’s a lot better if you’re working as part of a team, and I owe all that to Hampton – it has some staff who care the most out of any school I’ve ever been in. They’re there if you need them; they’ll back you up. I’ve had so many messages since I left from members of staff about my rowing. I don’t think many other schools have that sense of community.”
HSC meetings take place on Friday lunchtimes at 1:15 in Room 54. If Stanhope is selected again, as is expected, he will compete in the Tokyo Paralympics next summer, where his Great Britain crew will seek to win a third-consecutive Paralympic Gold, after victory at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Cycling After growing disillusioned with rowing, Team GB athlete and Hampton teacher Ms Rosamund Bradbury sought a change in sport, combining her professional career with training for Britain’s inaugural E-cycling Championships, where she won Gold. She told her story to HSC writers James Eggleton and Alasdair McIntosh. consider rowing as the ultimate team sport, but half the year you are competing against the others, training on your own. Then you get put in a crew with the people you were trying to beat.” The missed Olympics signified the end of the ‘almost Olympian’ – despite saying that representing Team GB was the greatest feeling ever, Ms Bradbury wanted a full-time job, and targeted cycling in her spare time.
Ms Bradbury celebrates her E-cycling success Ms Rosamund Bradbury is a Mathematics teacher at Hampton School. However, she is also, astonishingly, the first – and reigning – Women’s E-cycling Champion as well as being a near-Olympian in rowing.
unique sport, Ms Bradbury told us how she would prepare directly for the tournament – it’s a very different experience from riding on the road. “I enter lots of small E-cycling tournaments to get more experience, as well as doing many road races.”
She established herself in the Olympic VIII rowing squad with Team GB, narrowly missing out on Olympic qualification. Despite this setback, she took up cycling, and went on to clinch the inaugural title for British Cycling.
However, this preparation could have been either her downfall – or the source of her success. “This other girl kept beating me in the road races, so I went in to the competition thinking that she would beat me. I had to change that mindset and also my plan, so I went early. Winning was the best feeling ever!” This perseverance and resilience also helped her bounce back from the end of her rowing career.
Making sure the balance of teaching and training is in equilibrium must be extremely challenging, so how does Ms Bradbury do it? “To balance the training for E-cycling with being a Maths teacher,” she tells HSC, “is not actually that difficult compared with rowing; that was one of the main reasons that encouraged me to switch. In rowing, you have to go all the way to the boat house, then get out all the equipment, then get out on the water. “Now, I can just go into my garage before and after School five days a week and train, as well as sometimes on the road.” With E-cycling being a 20
Ms Bradbury helped Team GB to Olympic qualification in 2015, but ultimately missed out on the final crew for the event in Rio: this was one of the biggest lows in her career – perhaps the deepest. “It was devastating to have qualified the year before, but not to have been picked for the crew. Heart-wrenching.” This competition for places reflects the brutal nature of elite sport. “It is weird because some people
Having no regrets on making the change, Ms Bradbury discovered E-cycling and it soon became her passion, as she explains. “E-cycling was easy to do logistically as it was more convenient than normal cycling, and I could fit it around teaching.” Her motivation for entering the national E-cycling Championship was her love of competing and her competitiveness. However, cycling is a very demanding sport as Ms Bradbury found out. “Every winter you go through a low and you feel really tired and you do think about giving up but you just have to persevere and battle through.” In summary, Ms Bradbury’s sporting achievements as well as her academic background – she has
a degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University – suggest her all-round talents. Her ethics emerge when asked about how she felt about her male counterpart having his title stripped for cheating. “It is shocking,” she comments. “I can’t imagine myself doing it. Disgraceful!” Despite the glitz and glamour of her ongoing sporting career, Ms Bradbury has had her fair share of the cruelty of the game, as she reflects: “If given the opportunity, I would have wanted to go into that year – when I missed out on the Olympics – with a different mindset, and I would have worked that little bit harder.” Whilst reflecting on the past, she says that if she were to give one piece of advice to her younger self it would be to enjoy all sports. That should be recognized by all young sportsmen from someone who has been there and done it. “Cycling is probably my favourite, but I am still proudest of my rowing career.”
Retiring Economics teacher and rugby coach Mr John Slater has been a peerless servant for Hampton rugby, with over 25 years of coaching. He met Tom Oliver to reflect on his experiences. It’s a Wednesday afternoon in late September, and a light drizzle is coming down outside as I sit in the Economics Department office. The evenings are growing darker and the days shorter in the UK, while in Japan the weather is still warm, and the Rugby World Cup is just beginning. The opening weekend sees New Zealand defeat South Africa in a closely fought game; and Namibia, most of whose players juggle international rugby with full-time jobs, line up against Italy. Mr John Slater, like many of the Namibian XV who perform with bravery and spirit but lose 47-22 to Italy, faced just the same pressures in his own career, working full-time throughout his rugby-playing days. All in all, he played at Twickenham three times for Blackheath, toured South America with London Scottish, and played at the Stoop Memorial Ground for Loughborough University. He has been at Hampton for over two decades, during which time he has taught Economics and coached the Second XV from 1998 until 2016. “[I always aimed] to coach a form of rugby that I felt was the most effective, and to make people play a brand of rugby that is open and challenging and reliable,” he answers when I ask about
Mr Slater has been a main-stay on Rugby tours over the years
his reasons for becoming a coach. He tells me that he did not want to coach a style of rugby that was based around bulk and power – a style which, in his opinion, is encouraged by the tide of professionalism. How strongly Mr Slater feels about the way rugby should be played is clear to see, and visions of the fastpaced, off-loading game employed at the top level by teams such as Racing 92 spring to mind. “Rugby is about possession,” Slater says. “I like watching teams who play in a good spirit and a sporting style.” Mr Slater played mainly in the 1980s, at a time which he feels was the golden age of rugby. “There were lots of established clubs with good grounds and good players, and you could play hard as an amateur and still have a job at a high standard,” he says. “The camaraderie was fantastic - my Blackheath friends are friends for life.” Mr Slater’s reflection on the game’s camaraderie is particularly notable, and one of the aspects of rugby that is especially attractive to all those who play it. Despite the game having become professional since Mr Slater retired, this is one of the few things that I think has not changed, and probably never will change about Rugby Union. The fact that Mr Slater remains friends with his Blackheath teammates and even goes on a yearly cricket tour with them is testament to the team spirit ignited by all sport, and the bonds formed between team members simply through playing together, as well as the team spirit that was - and still is - possessed by that 1980s Blackheath team that Mr Slater was a part of.
Editor’s Note Josh Bartholomew
It has, once again, been a historic year for Hampton sport. After the quality of the School’s elite teams was once again proven by last season’s ESFA triumph, this year the strength in depth has been shown. The U16B team reached their third consecutive ESFA final; they were joined at the national showpiece by the Second XI, who avenged last season’s defeat in the latter stages to reach a final of their own, and the U16As. Though all three teams were unfortunate to be denied their big day by the global Covid-19 outbreak, it is an exceptional achievement, and one that - as far as records show - has never before been matched in the School’s history. The footballers weren’t alone in their success - the First XV reached the Champions Trophy with some particularly impressive victories along the way. They were not quite able to come away from the home of the sport, Rugby School, with victory in the semi-final, but it was a great run nonetheless. Hampton Sports Chronicle continues to cover the School’s vast array of sporting events in detail, particularly through its online platform (hamptonsportschronicle.org.uk), which has gone from strength to strength in the past year. At the time of writing, in May 2020, HSC’s website has picked up 14,478 views since September 2019. The online platform has allowed us to cover the School’s sport in greater depth than ever before: we posted an abundance of preview coverage ahead of the First XV’s Champions Trophy; HSC also live-blogged the event to provide instantaneous reaction to the match. As ever, we continue to produce online content on a wide-range of sports and teams. It’s particularly pleasing to see the School’s younger teams benefit from the same level of coverage as their older counterparts - something that the online platform has allowed us to accommodate far more easily. Some equally gratifying content this year was our Hampton’s Greatest Sporting Moments series, in which we attempted to crown the most impressive sporting achievement from the School’s history from a longlist of 32, with the community’s help. See the back page for more on this project. At this point, I’d like to thank all those who’ve contributed (there’s a list below!), as well as Mr Smith, whose enduring enthusiasm for HSC continues to propel it to new heights, the Website Office, Mr Keenan and all others. We’re always looking for more new members of the team: designer, writer, photographer. See Mr Smith in the English Office, or come to Room 54 at 1:15pm on a Friday lunchtime. HSC Writers, 2019/20: Josh Bartholomew Max Cardosi Sam Colvine Joe Cornell Dan Cubbon Omer Demiral Jago Doherty James Eggleton Jack Farthing Gabriel Fouche Josh Freer
Maxi Grindley Freddie Hawkins Lucas Hermann Sosa Josh Hood Henry Jackson Alasdair McIntosh Oscar Murphy Tom Oliver Jayden Oni Vishal Saha Sam Trotman 21
News in Brief
SENIOR FOOTBALLERS PICKED FOR ISFA TEAM Senior football players Sami Omaar, Joe O’Pray, Antonio Polleri and Jonah Blake were picked to play for their respective ISFA (Independent Schools Football Assocation) representative teams in December.
Former rower and pupil Matt Hamilton OH (2018) helped Oxford’s Lightweight crew to victory over Cambridge in the Boat Race in March.
Lower Sixth left-back Omaar, a member of last season’s ESFA-winning First XI squad, was selected to play up a year group for the ISFA U18 team for their matches against Wales Colleges and England Colleges. Omaar gave a strong account of himself in the two matches, as his ISFA team first beat a strong Wales Colleges team 5-2 at St. George’s Park, before falling to a 4-3 defeat thanks to England Colleges’ late winner in the next match. The leftback, who hopes to take up a Football Scholarship in America upon the conclusion of his studies next year, was also selected to play against Australia Schools in January. His First XI defensive teammate, Jonah Blake, was selected for the ISFA U16 team, alongside his age-group counterparts, Antonio Polleri and Joe O’Pray. The U16 team played against two academy teams, first taking an impressive 2-0 victory over Forest Green Rovers, before playing out a tense 1-1 stalemate against Lincoln City at St. George’s Park. Blake, Polleri and O’Pray went on to be key members in the U16A team as they marched towards ESFA success in the U16 Cup (see page 2).
MATT HAMILTON OH (2018) WINS LIGHTWEIGHT BOAT RACE
Hamilton, who studies Biochemistry at Oriel College, was rowing in his first Boat Race since joining Oxford in 2018.
O’Pray and Omaar in their ISFA kit Their captain in the age-group team, Sam Evans, achieved representative success of his own, being selected for Surrey Schools. Lower down the School, U14 footballer Chibby Nwoko was selected for the England U15 team, again playing up an age-group. This represents a formidable achievement for one of the key members of the U14A team. His teammate Jamie Wilson was also picked for a representative team, joining Omaar, O’Pray, Blake and Polleri in the ISFA ranks through his selection for the U14 side.
The OH enjoyed a successful junior rowing career at the School, representing the First VIII, as well as being selected for senior international honours, rowing for England at the Home Countries International Regatta in 2017. The Lightweight Boat Race moved to the Tideway last year, meaning the 2020 event was the second race on a different Thames stretch. Hampton have a celebrated history in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race: Chris Mahoney OH (1977) won
Benson, who has captained both Hampton and Harlequins’ U18 teams already, was one of only 22
In 2003, two sets of Hampton brothers competed - Ben Smith and David Livingstone claimed a tight victory for Oxford over their siblings Matthew Smith and James Livingstone, both racing for Cambridge. More recently, Sam Collier OH (2014) was the Oxford cox for two years straight, in 2016 and 2017, winning the latter race convincingly. Oxford’s three-length victory in the 2020 Lightweight Boat Race was their second consecutive win over traditional rivals Cambridge, though they trail 28 to 16 in alltime victories. Hamilton will hope that his 2020 Boat Race win marks just the start of a storied career in Oxford dark blue.
This story was first published on HSC’s online platform: hamptonsportschronicle.org.uk. Head to the HSC website for daily updates on Hampton sport throughout the year.
FIRST XV FLY-HALF JAMIE BENSON SELECTED FOR ENGLAND U18s Harlequins and Hampton fly-half Jamie Benson was selected for the England U18s in March. Despite still being an U17, Benson’s impressive performances for Hampton during the Champions Trophy cup run, as well as the starring role he played for Harlequins during the U18 Academy League, caught the eye of the England selectors.
three consecutive Boat Races in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
three U17 players selected to train with the U18 national team. The squad assembled in February half-term for a training camp. Benson enjoyed a particularly successful season, helping Hampton to the Champions Trophy semi-final (see page 4). Speaking after his selection, Benson said: “I’m really pleased to have been selected and I am really looking forward to the camp!”
BLAKE CULLEN COMPETES IN U19 WORLD CUP AND GIVEN MIDDLESEX CONTRACT before following that up with 0/41 in a loss to the West Indies. Next was a crunch game for England, against historic rivals Australia. Cullen performed well, taking 2/68. With only a few games left in the competition, Cullen took 0/6 from three overs against Japan, showing formidable economy. His campaign ended with 0/31 against Zimbabwe in Kimberley.
Cullen in action for England at the U19 World Cup First XI cricketer Blake Cullen travelled to South Africa in January to participate in the U19 Cricket World Cup with England. After making his England U19 debut last summer, aged only 17, Cullen - a strapping seam bowler - impressed in the national shirt enough to be awarded a place on the national team’s tour to the West Indies in December.
He was subsequently selected to take part in the U19 World Cup in South Africa with the national team - traditionally a breeding ground for future international stars: the likes of Jos Buttler, Joe Root and Ben Stokes have all starred in the competition in recent years. Cullen showed great tenacity in South Africa, taking 3/25 in a warm-up game against Afghanistan,
Upon returning from the tour, Cullen was awarded a professional contract with Middlesex CCC - the club for whom he made his Second XI debut aged just 15. Cullen said: “I’m absolutely thrilled at becoming a Middlesex Cricket professional and am very thankful and honoured to have the opportunity. “I owe much to the brilliant coaches that I have been lucky enough to work with over the years. “I’m still developing my game and am really looking forward to learning in a professional environment and to
drawing on the experiences of the senior players. “I very much hope to be making a valuable contribution to the club in the near future.” Angus Fraser, Middlesex’s Managing Director of Cricket, and former England Test cricketer, added: “We have been aware of and excited by Blake’s potential for quite some time. He may only be 17 but he bowls like a grown man, which is a characteristic you don’t see in many teenagers. “Blake is tall, aggressive and has a good, strong, easy to repeat bowling action, assets which could quickly see him competing for a place in our First XI. “He is an intelligent young man too, and this contract, which I hope will be the first of many he has with Middlesex, will see him through his time at University.”
GWILYM BRADLEY OH (2019) AWARDED CARDIFF BLUES ACADEMY CONTRACT Gwilym Bradley OH (2019), last year’s vice-captain of Rugby, has secured an academy contract with Cardiff Blues after impressing in the BUCS Super League with Bath University.
Bradley said: “It was great to spend time with Cardiff Blues A earlier in the season. That was my first experience of a professional set-up and it opened my eyes to how everything operated.
Bradley, a versatile backrower, competed for Wales U18 and U19 last season, and played for the national team again during the U20 Six Nations in February.
“The older guys, who had played for the first team, treated me with a lot of respect, but were also happy to guide me through it and teach me different stuff.
After coming through the London Irish academy pathway system, Bradley was unfortunate to miss much of his final year of Hampton rugby with a wrist injury, which also forced his absence from the U18 Academy League.
“I didn’t have to think much about it to be honest. It’s the opportunity that I’ve been dreaming of. I want to be a rugby player. That’s my dream. And now that journey starts and I have to crack on and get to work.”
Bradley after being awarded his academy contract
Behind the Scenes
In April, HSC launched its Hampton’s Greatest Sporting Moments series. Editor Josh Bartholomew tells all about the project, which tried to identify the School’s finest sporting success from a shortlist of 32. In the Spring 2013 edition of the Hampton Sports Chronicle, the School’s Headmaster at the time – Mr Barry Martin – noted that “it’s impossible to rank Hampton’s greatest sporting moments.” What Mr Martin didn’t foresee, however, was the context of a crippling global pandemic, amidst which the HSC’s editorial team were granted more time than ever before to undertake such a prodigious task. So, armed with numerous past editions of the HSC and extensive digital archives, Mr Smith and I compiled what we thought was an exhaustive list of Hampton’s 32 greatest sporting successes. While it was impossible to come up with a logarithmic, formulaic scale for assessing the magnitude of a sporting success, we attempted to cover a variety of different bases. For example, while there are numerous Olympic rowing medals (to the Boat House’s immense credit, of course) we tried to limit it to a few moments.
Similarly, while there were three ISFA triumphs to choose from, we went for 2012, where the First XI’s glory was combined with an U15A Cup win too. Therefore, we had a list of various sports and various moments – both by individuals and teams – spanning the many decades for which Hampton has been a dominant sporting force. The group was by no means entirely exhaustive, but we endeavoured to encompass a broad range of successes. Since the start of the summer term, we’ve been releasing four reports a week - one a day from Monday to Thursday - with the public voting for their favourite each Friday. After eight group stages and four quarterfinals, only a few moments remain. The semi-finalists are: The 1985 First VIII’s victory at Henley, the 1986 Triple, the First XI’s ESFA victory in 2019, and the 1988 Triple. Head to the HSC website to find out which moment was crowned Hampton’s Greatest Sporting Moment.
The List: 32 of Hampton’s finest sporting moments • Simon Amor OH (1997)’s Olympic Silver • Nick Jupp OH (2007) wins ISFA POTY • First XI win ESFA • Paul Casey OH (1993)’s Ryder Cup glory • Zafar Ansari OH (2010)’s Golden Summer • Alex Lundberg OH (2013)’s U20 World Cup win • First XV win St. Joseph’s Festival • Jonny Searle OH (1986) and Greg Searle OH (1990) win Olympic Gold • Akbar Ansari OH (2007) dominates Varsity match • Hampton storm Schools’ Head of the River 2013 • Max Kretzschmar OH (2009) makes EFL debut • Dave Travis OH (1964)’s athletics success • Two sets of Hampton brothers compete in 2003 Boat Race • The 1988 Triple • Ollie Stanhope OH (2016)’s World Championship Golds • Calogero Scannella OH (2018)’s ISFA-winning hat-trick • First XI reach national T20 final • Seb Jewell OH (2006)’s Premiership debut • Hampton win U15 and U18 ISFA titles • Mike Hart OH (1976)’s Olympic Silver • Amor OH (1997) and Beattie (OH 1997) tour with England U18 • The 1986 Triple • Chris Mahoney OH (1977)’s Olympic Silver • Todd Ryan OH (2017) scores school-record 206* • Louis Lynagh OH (2019) and Gwilym Bradley OH (2019) face-off in U18 international match • Hampton win British Open Chess Championships • Chris Martin OH (1999) rows across the Atlantic • Toby Roland-Jones OH (2006) takes County Championship-winning hat-trick
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