Staff v Prefects Football Match Christmas 1980 (2)

These are three more of the ten photographs I found recently of the teachers playing the School Prefects at football, or soccer as some might call it. The photographs show a game from the early 1980s, when my wife took a few pictures of the match.

This photograph shows the Staff goalkeeper kicking the ball downfield. This is the legendary Chris Mann, a young chap from Liverpool with the accent to match. He eventually left the High School to go to teach at Staffordshire University, where he remains to this day, as far as I know. The last time I heard, he was doing very well as the Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering (Maths & Statistics) in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences:


This photograph shows myself shielding the ball against a defender. In just a second, I will pass it on to the other player in blue, who is Paul Morris, the now retired Physics teacher:


This final picture shows proceedings when players are perhaps beginning to get a little tired. There are four blue shirted members of staff on view. I am Number Four counting from the left and Paul Morris is Number One. Number Two is the then Head of Music, Stephen Fairlie, a young man far too gentle to be playing football. Not long after this game, in 1985, he was to found the Nottingham Youth Orchestra which still continues in existence to this very day:


Player Number Three is Ron Gilbert, an ex-Chemistry teacher who retired recently, and whose first love was actually Rugby Union, but he was always a very good sport, and willing to turn out for the staff when the occasion arose.
Yet again, I am not able to recognise any of the Prefects who, by now, must be in their early fifties with not just children but, conceivably, grandchildren.



Filed under Football, History, Humour, Nottingham, Personal, The High School

14 responses to “Staff v Prefects Football Match Christmas 1980 (2)

  1. Pierre Lagacé

    Time machine…

  2. You are so right! There is a third post today, with a French poem you may know.

  3. juliancbower1

    Hello Mr Knifton. The prefect all in white in the final picture is Simon Turrill. He left school in the summer of 1980, so the photo may be 1979. Having read chemistry at Birmingham Simon did his teacher training at Loughborough. He taught at Canford before joining you at Nottingham High School and is now at Bryanston. Simon’s father John Turrill may or may not have been the prefect who carved the initials JTT on the School tower! Best wishes to you and yours.

  4. juliancbower1

    Hello Mr Knifton. The prefect all in white in the final picture is Simon Turrill. Having read chemistry at Birmingham he did teacher training at Loughborough. He taught at Canford before joining you at Nottingham High School and is now at Bryanston. Simon’s father John Turrill may or may not have been the prefect who carved the initials JTT in the School tower! Best wishes to you and yours.

    • Lovely to hear from you, and many thanks for the info. I’m afraid that this suddenly seems so very, very long ago. It is actually possible for the prefects to be grandfathers by now! By the way, if somebody has carved their initials up in the tower they will be perfectly safe for the next 500 years. Nobody ever goes up there as it’s been padlocked away for ages. I actually have a blog post scheduled for April 10th about initials carved in stone, but they are the ones on the pillars of the Forest Road gates. Hope you enjoy it!

      • juliancbower1

        I’ll look forward to it. Your photos may be Christmas 1979, because Simon left the following summer and I played in the 1980 game with the next set of prefects. There was an off-the-ball incident when Mr Ayres dumped me in the mud… I always suspected Dr Slack put him up to it!

  5. The odd “incident” always seems to occur. This is probably why the match has quietly been dropped from the schedule. On one occasion, a prefect danced through the staff team defence and scored a fantastic goal. On his way back to the centre circle, he was the “victim” of an off-the-ball incident with one of the teachers. Not very nice and rather excessive for the Staff v Prefects game! Rugby, I believe, has never even been considered!

  6. Mark Tedds

    John – I think the Prefect in the rugby kit with the ball might be Jamie Cutts.
    He was the elder of the two (I think…) Cutts brothers – I cannot remember the other brother’s name, although he was in my year. They were both in the Scouts, which is where I got to know them. Of course, I may have them the wrong way round or completely the wrong person!

    I stumbled across your blog and it brought back a few memories (Russell Poole, Dave Beech). You might remember me as the rather accident prone younger brother of Gary Tedds – you were generous enough to give me lifts to and from school in your mini when I broke my leg playing rugby and you helped me achieve a Russian C grade GCSE in 1982 whilst studying for A levels – something of which I remain very proud.
    I went on to Cambridge with a fair size group from the NHS, a few who came to my wedding in 1987 and none of whom I have seen or heard from since! My brother is now retired but I remain at IBM and will do whilst I see my 4 children through University…

    Anyway, good to hear you are alive and kicking!

    • You are a real voice out of the ether!! Lovely to hear from you. I’m glad you liked my blog. I try to keep it as varied as possible although lots of other people seem to want to stick to just one subject. I am retired now and I am turning to book writing as a hobby. In 2013, I published “500 Happy Returns: Nottingham High School’s Birthday” which was an account of the school’s 500 birthday minute by minute with literally hundreds of little accounts from pupils and staff. I have written a history of the school which we are proof reading at the moment, and my next venture will be the short lives of the 100 or so old boys who died in WW2. Good to hear from you, Mark. You cheered up a very rainy Saturday morning. Da svidanya, as they say!

  7. Simon Turrill

    Simon Turrill from Bryanston School – the one in white and not a ounce of mud on me! The player on the ball is Michael Briggs one of three brothers (Tom older and Richard younger) and yes it was either late 1979 or early 1980.

    • Lovely to hear from you, and many thanks for the info on the pictures. Ron Gilbert, Richard Willan, Phil Eastwood and Paul Morris are now all retired. Chris Mann is a Professor at North Staffs University. Stephen Fairlie was killed in a car crash in the late 1990s, and Bob Howard died of cancer last summer. I was pretty ill with my back about three years ago and I am now permanently disabled and walk just short distances on crutches. I fill the time by writing various things. Look me up on Amazon, but if you want to buy my recent History of the High School, do search for it on They are selling it extremely competitively. Funnily enough, I was at Bryanstoun about ten years ago with my daughter who went to one of your summer schools to learn Ancient Greek.
      Time hurries on and the leaves that are green, even on the tallest tree in Europe, soon turn to brown, as some singer once said. Hope all is going well.

  8. Simon Turrill

    Forgot to say the first prefect on the left is Mark Dillon.

  9. Chris Mann

    This particular game was played at the end of the easter term, not Christmas. The goalie in the Christmas match, when we some how managed to keep the score down to a 1-0 defeat, was Bob Dickason. I played in central defence with Tony Slack.

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