A lot of the time Simon Macbeth spent at that school was great. I had some terrific friends that I used to hang out with. I’d have five or six friends over at my parent’s house for my birthday parties. I would find the parties quite stressful, making sure that everyone got on and behaved, but ultimately they were enjoyable affairs.
My dreams of pop stardom had been knocked on the head at infant school, so that ambition was replaced by the prospect of playing football for Leeds United. At junior school I got involved in the football team as the goalkeeper.
There were three of us who were nominated for the position between the sticks, one of them was ruled out because he didn’t have any football boots and luckily, if that’s the right word, the other lad withdrew after his father died. It was lucky for me anyway. I was sorry for his loss, but it was a really positive thing to happen for me. You’ve got to take your opportunities in life, regardless of how they come about. I know that I was the right person for the job and better than the other two anyway.
Mr Stokes was the teacher who took charge of the five-a-side school football team. He was a typical PE teacher. He was a bit wary of me because I was always in trouble. He respected me because he knew I was good and the right choice to be his goalkeeper. In return, I was grateful to him as he helped me a lot.
We entered loads of competitions and either won them or came in second. We were good as a team and it gave me a lot of pleasure being a part of that. There were perhaps 20 teams from Morley and the surrounding area and we were right up there as the best with five good players. I might not have been the best of them, but I let no one down and let hardly any goals in.