My worst parent - Coach stole sporting glory

22nd October 2010 at 01:00

We were more than grateful when Mr Robinson offered to coach our football team. He had, after all, been semi-professional in his day. He might be just the inspiration they needed.

His son was no longer at our school, but we had got to know him over the years. His first decision was to appoint Peter as team captain. I was over the moon. Peter was struggling academically and it was a perfect chance for this likeable Year 6 pupil to excel.

The city league started well for the team, with three wins in a row. Members of staff, usually uninterested in football, began to take an interest and even went to some of the matches. Mr Robinson was working his magic.

But as the team improved and continued to win, Mr Robinson's persona took a worrying turn. He began chewing gum anxiously on the sidelines. He began jumping up to shout out tactics - a practice much frowned upon by the league organisers. Worst of all, he began challenging the referee in loud and angry outbursts. For us, he was starting to be more than an embarrassment.

The team reached the semi-finals. I imagined how marvellous it would be for Peter to hold the silver cup aloft. They made it to the final. The score: 1-0. It was tense but they did it. They won.

The captain of the losing team walked out to collect the runner-up trophy. Now it was Peter's turn. But the cheering suddenly subsided into an awkward, stunned silence. Unbelievably, as Peter rose from the bench, Mr Robinson pushed past and walked forward to collect the cup. All we could do from the sidelines was hang our heads in shame and vow to reconsider the football coach for next year.

The writer is a primary teacher in Leeds. Send your worst parent stories to and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today