Mowden Hall Charity Football Day

Mowden Hall Charity Football Day

Firstly, a huge thank-you to all those lads and lasses, mums and dads who turned out to play football in the sports hall during the day last Sunday and to all of you who have donated to our two charities – we’ve raised nearly £2000, an excellent achievement: a particular thank you here to our sponsors:, Chris Sewell, Local Dairyman, Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood, Fine Art Auctioneers,, SRX Solutions,, P&N Associates Ltd, , The Seafield Caravan Park, Seahouses and The Cothill Educational Trust,

From the feedback I’ve received it’s clear that everyone who was here at Mowden enjoyed themselves and, as they say, ‘put in a big shift’. There was a friendly and competitive feel to proceedings, too -perhaps the second of the ladies’ sessions at 3 o’clock ‘out Heroding Herod’ for its levels of commitment and tenacity.

As always with an event of this size there were a number of unsung heroes and heroines behind the scenes playing key supporting roles: another huge thank-you to Debbie Freeman-Griffith for her excellent PR work and ensuring that all ran smoothly; to Pauline Hutchinson and Karen, who made us coffee and tea and bacon sandwiches; to Nurse Sally Reed, who was our medical and first aid presence and to Alastair Lord for his work with the camera, ensuring that ,whilst those of us in the sports hall were ‘stiffening the sinews and summoning up the blood’, those who were spectating in the warmth and comfort of the Junior Common Room could relax and watch some truly memorable and mesmerising skills on the big screen. Thanks to Mrs Smales and Mrs Miller for their support in the office. Thanks too, of course, to Neal and Nici, for supporting the event and for allowing us to use the school as a venue.

So, to begin at the beginning: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the first two sessions ran smoothly, enthusiastically but for some of us older lads, sedately. Toby and George Gibson, brothers Ben and Jonathan Chinery, Peter Smith, Barry Hextall and Simon Hampton played in both, whilst Josh Lamb turned out at 7 to be replaced by Ralph Charlton at 8. After that, some of us retired to the JCR for refreshment whilst Josh, Ben and Jonathan, seemingly tireless, were joined by Neal, Kieran Rainey, Karl Unger and Nick Doggett and the slick father-and-son team of Graham and Archie Senior. The pace now quickened and the skill levels seemed to shift into a higher gear. SRH reappeared for the 10.00 slot in place of Neal and this game too was fast with some sharp passing movements and thunderous shots echoing round the gym’s cavernous chamber.

The 11 o’clock session was a mixture of father-and son teams, Peter and Caspar de Wesselow; Stuart and Ollie Mills and David and Toby Pattinson – the sons all being part of that very fine and stylish Mowden team from 2013 – along with Shaun Cutler, the redoubtable Peter Smith and Alastair Lord, who throwing caution and a recently broken wrist to the wind, turned out as well. It was pleasing to watch the sharp, fluid passing movements from the lads (although, rather like the Arsenal, they seemed to lack a cutting edge when in front of goal). Again, there was some decent football being played here.

Now, and almost halfway through the day, the Chinery brothers, Karl Unger, Nick Doggett, Shaun Cutlet, Peter Smith, Philip Rosier, Gap-Student Hugo Laithwaite and SRH moved into action for the 12 o’clock slot before seeing the big hand of the clock move slowly round to 1. Now, it was the turn of the Ladies! And this session did not disappoint! Mairi Hextall and her daughters, Lily and Iona (both ex-Mowdenians) worked together as a formidable trio, and Helen Sutherland played energetically alongside Satara Lumb and Danielle Fröhling, with Philip Rosier and Hugo as custodians of their respective mats. There was exertion and excitement of no small quality here.

At 14.00 hours, the eight stalwarts were as follows: bringing a touch of magic to the contest from the Tottenham High Road, we had Jamie Rake, with ex-Mowden Head Boy, Simon Manners bringing his own magic from Seahouses. Karl and Nick teamed up again and Barry Hextall introduced the skills of Dougie Buchan-Watt, the octet completed by Alastair Lord and Manchester United supporter Stuart Fairhurst. On we went to the second ladies’ session of the day and what thrills and spills we saw from Magda Davy, Helen Sutherland, Danielle and Satara, Nici Bailey and Kate Martin and certainly not forgetting Debbie Freeman- Griffith and Nicki Johnson. As an observer, this was as rough as it got. The girls were sensitive, sympathetic and supportive once one of their number had been felled or laid out on the hard gym floor – as happened not infrequently – but some of this play was definitely ‘X’ rated. They all seemed to enjoy themselves, though and this was indeed commitment of the first order.

And so the world turned and we moved on to the last three sessions of the day: firstly, the one at 4 o’clock, in which Neal’s Headmaster’s team of Nelson, Davy, Manners and Lamb, pitted their wits against Mike Parker, Benson, Maxwell-Macdonald, Cook and Windham. No doubt about it: there was some high-quality football on show here and the competitive edge was just as sharp at 5 when Simon Miller and his two sons, Lewis and Owen, were joined by Simon Manners, Josh Lamb, Stuart Nelson, Andrew Phillips and James Hadfield. The last scene of all that ended’ this strange eventful history’ was at 6 when Neal, Josh Lamb, Craig Little and Hugo turned out with Magnus Hextall, Frederick Bayne, Arthur Sutherland and Henry Armstrong: SRH, by now, too stiff to move easily, sat on the wall bars and refereed. The boys played some fine stuff and the spirit and enthusiasm present here certainly impressed. Well done and thanks to all!

For more photos of the day click here.

Simon Hampton


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