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Mr Verney by Peter Davison

Lack of effort, not brains, held this future Time Lord back at school, but one teacher spotted his potential and put him on his stellar path

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Someone once said to me that you need a teacher who believes in you, and who you see as a kind of role model – and Mr Verney was that. He was my shining light at senior school.

I was thought of as one of the less bright ones at school, although I started off in the ‘A’ form when I arrived at Knaphill County Secondary School, which then became The Winston Churchill School. In Woking, there was a girls’ and a boys’ grammar, and we at the comp were definitely second class.

He was always the first person I’d talk about if anyone asked me about school – I don’t think he’d even been aware of just ...

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