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.

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