A Diamonds fan forever

17th March 2006 at 00:00
Wind up a minister about FE and the worst that can happen is he will walk away or, at worst, duck for cover behind a press officer who will give you every assistance short of actual help.

Mention the beautiful game, though, and things can turn ugly.

One of my colleagues asked skills minister Phil Hope which football team he supported.

"Rushden and Diamonds", came the reply. The team apparently, inhabits the basement division of the Football League, whatever that may be. "I support Leyton Orient, and I watched my team beat your team five-one earlier this season," the reporter replied.

The minister snarled and threw a mock head-butt, narrowly avoiding our reporter's nose.

Our reporter and the minister were at a publicity event to promote reading and writing tuition, attended by Charlie Oatway, captain of Brighton and Hove Albion (see page 5).

For an Orient fan, our man knows a thing or two about football, an obsession he has passed on to his son, who, during a university game, once took a shot at goal and missed, only to see the ball go on to crack the rear windscreen of a nearby car.

The car belonged to one Charlie Oatway.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today