An Open Letter to Roberto Martinez
Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T worries about the visit of the mighty Swansea City
to Histon FC
You have done many great things for our club. Whereas for most of my
life as a Swans fan I've traipsed around the lower leagues, tasting
defeat at Darlington, being humbled 7-4 at Hull, feeling rotten at Rochdale,
losing 5-3 at Luton and yes, getting glum and grim at Grimsby, now we
are doing something I never thought I'd see again.
When I was little I'd listen to Swansea Sound under the bed covers,
to the roar of the Vetch and the quake of the prison, as the Swans took
on the top teams of the land, took them on and beat them. Now we are
doing it again, not quite in the Premier League (yet!), but when we
were on the verge of extinction just 5 years ago, who'd have thought
we'd soon be playing teams like Wolves, Norwich, Southampton, Watford
and even Cardiff, week in week out, by right, and not only playing
them but beating them!
What's more, we're doing it with style.
Roberto, you've helped make me a very proud man.
But at the moment, I am also rather worried.
And the cause of that worry? Histon.
You see I'm a teacher at Histon and Impington Junior School, and when
I went into work on Monday after the FA Cup draw I wasn't even allowed
on the playground in case my black and white scarf and Swans tie got
in way of the press and TV shots. As I entered my classroom of 9 and
10 year olds, the normally lovely, kind and cooperative kids were mouthy,
cocky and confident - we're gonna thrash you 6-0!. And there
was no solace in the staff room; the Histon manager teaches our games
lessons, and there he was, surrounded by admirers, teachers all black
and red, and staff noticeboard draped with congratulations and good
That's when I was forced to try to ban the F word in my class - Football.
It didn't work.
Since then a flurry of comments, jibes, predictions and
wind ups have come from the staff, parents, local football pundits,
and above all, from the children at the school.
Roberto, you've got to help me! I'm losing my mind!
I need to go be able to go back to school in the New Year with my head
held high, to emerge from my hideout in the stock cupboard and teach
my class without being reminded that we were beaten by a bunch of part
timers from a tiny village pond. I need to know that football can triumph
above mud and long balls.
So please, please put out your best team on January 3rd, please make
sure they're ready to roll their sleeves up in the Histon bog and to
stand up to the physical set plays and hoofs of their hosts, and thus
please help me return to work with my dignity intact.
Roberto, I'm counting on you.
Swansea til I die...
Richard Rose, Class Teacher Histon and Impington Junior School, Cambridge