b'There are very few stories involving Mr The Beautiful Game Nearly ten years later, I came forCampbell that I would be allowed to have interview at HGS and one of the firstpublished in this magazine.In 2002 I was the Head of Sixth Formpeople I met was Stuart Campbell.I will always remember him as the king of at Archbishop Grimshaw School inHe greeted me with great warmth andfootball trivia. He often tells me some random North Solihull and I also coached thewe shared our memories of the game.football facts and insists that I drop them into sixth form football team. We had aIt has been a pleasure working withconversation at home. My husband and children, very strong team and battled our wayhim over the years and talking aboutwho are Liverpool football fans, talk a lot about to the final of the West Midlands Cup,football. I know that he will continue toplayers and the matches. I often complain in where we faced Handsworth Grammarcoach and to pass on his knowledgethe staffroom that I have nothing to contribute, School, coached by Mr Stuartof the game to players young andso Mr Campbell makes me memorise some Campbell. HGS had a fine reputationold in the future, and I wish him everyobscure football information. When they are next in this city and the West Midlands forsuccess. in debate I will interrupt with my wisdom about football, but I was determined to guide Mr Conway the next match, a player or some historical trivia my team to victory against the boysabout the sides. This always catches them off from Handsworth. guard and makes them wonder where I have got Well, in a tremendous game, Stuartthat ridiculous piece of information from. I have guided the HGS boys to a narrownever told them that they are supplied to me by victory and they became the WestMr Campbell, letting them think that I am full of Midlands champions for 2002. Hisknowledge. The following day he always checks team played with great skill andthat I delivered the information correctly (this is enthusiasm, and were very wellnot always the case) and asks for their response. organised and well coached. DespiteNext football season they will wonder why I no my disappointment at the time, Ilonger have useless insights to contribute!was impressed by the way that theI can honestly say that I have enjoyed working HGS team had played and made awith Mr Campbell for the 22 years I have been mental note about their coach. at HGS and that the staffroom will never be the same again!Blue is the colour Throughout the match the BirminghamMrs Donoghueteam had their backs to the wall, but The League Cup final in 2011 betweenwere fighting gallantly to keep the scoreStaff versus Sixth Form football matchesBirmingham and Arsenal is the daylevel. The goalkeeper for Birmingham Mr Campbell is likely to hold very fondwas in sparkling form throughout andEvery so often, when he wasnt off coaching memories of: football success forin the 89th minute provided an assistfootball, we were graced with the silky-smooth the Blues. Arsenal, the awe-inspiringfor a dramatic late winner! However, theskills of the maestro who is Mr Campbell; but favourites, were riding high in the2011 season ended with Mr Campbellrather than write about his touch, vision and Premier League, while Birminghamand myself watching Birminghampassing abilities, what really stood out was his were only two points above theplay against another London team,gamesmanship. He has that knack of just being relegation zone. The Midlands team hadTottenham Hotspur, which was theannoyingand not just on a football pitch. In brushed aside local rivals Aston Villa ingame that ultimately ended in relegationhis many (many, many) years of football he has the quarter-finals and eventually Westto the championship and epitomisedperfected every trick in the book, from time Ham in a nail-biting semi-final. Overthe joys and sorrows of being awasting to a tug of the shirt at just the right time. 30,000 Birmingham fans, including Mrprofessional football supporter. A true professional!Campbell and myself, made the journeyKeep right on, as they say, in yourIll dearly miss that, but will also miss picking to Wembley on the Sunday morning toretirement, Mr Campbell! his brain for his superb knowledge of the game. watch the blue half of Birmingham playI hope to continue to receive his messages against a star-studded Arsenal side. Mr Hawkins whenever United have had one of those games again!Mr G. DhillowTop flight talentsYou may know him for his silky skills, or his half- It seems a lifetime ago that I, Stuart and four time pep talks, Brian, but I know him as a masterother teachers started at HGS on 5 September Mr Shifter. 1991. Little did we appreciate that Stuart and I would still be here 32 years later! Having Stuart Campbell has talents in the furniture- spent much time with Stuart, I can safely say removal business. When I was seeking a sofathat he is the type of character that every for my newly acquired eyrie, SC was there notstaffroom needsalways ready to laugh and just with a sofa but the means and willingnessjoke, and share his sense of humour. In todays to collect it and deliver it. The skills heteaching environment, sharing a joke and demonstrated as we weaved our way aroundlaughing out loud is an important part of the the M42, the effortless skill in loading ourday, and frequently initiated by Stuart. He is very cargo into the school minibus and the candidknowledgeable about football (UEFA A licence!) discussion we shared on our mission will stayand regularly offers suggestions with regard to with me as a fond memory of camaraderie. stocks and shares and investment portfolios. Sally forth, my Blue-nosed colleague, and best wishes for the futureyour chosenHis retirement is well deserved having been a team may not always be in the top flight, but your kindness will always make you aloyal servant to HGS for such a long time, and Premiership player to me.the staffroom will be a lesser place following his Mr Duck departure.Mr A. Campbell53'