FE me

5th May 2006 at 01:00
Job: BBC TV sports journalist

Attended: Wirral Metropolitan college (previously Birkenhead technical college)

Ray Stubbs, the BBC TV sports journalist, may not have been the most hardworking student, but he says college gave him a valuable taste of the wider world after a boys' grammar school - and an opportunity to meet girls!

"I did economics and a course which was called British Constitution, but I can't remember exactly what the subject was and didn't take it as seriously as I should have.

"I scraped a pass in the economics A-level and I am ashamed to say I left the exam room very early when the other paper was set down.

"The impression I was left with was my teachers were very professional, helpful and did their very best to help you.

"I remember the college being a long narrow brick building, set just back from main road. It had a central staircase and large landings that acted as meeting points.

"Even though I feel I wasted the opportunity, I believe my time at college did help me.

"I had left school and signed for Tranmere Rovers Football Club. I attended college on a part-time basis, writing essays and researching background to various issues.

"It is a bit like constructing a script and getting the building blocks of the "facts" in place. I think it was the foundation I tried to build on when I got the chance to work in local radio.

"I don't think the college experience changed me but it had an impact.

"I had moved from an all-male grammar school into the male-dominated, very insular, environment of professional football and, even though it was only for one day a week, 'Birkenhead tech' was such a different world.

"It was daunting but exciting at the same time. All these people, all studying so many different trades,crafts, business studies, everyone trying to make their way in the world, and all these girls!

"After leaving college, I had a crack at being a professional footballer but with no success, worked for the club 'off the pitch', and then stumbled into broadcasting with BBC local radio."

Ray Stubbs was talking to Shekhar Bhatia

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