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I don't know why, but I just thought that teachers didn't really have a life outside of school. Not that I'd ever thought about it that much - I mean who really cares what teachers do after school? - but I guess, somewhere in my head, I kind of assumed that they lived and slept in the school building...that that was all they did.
So to see Mr Hitchcock there - of all places - was more than a serious shock to the system. It blew my mind to be honest.
I thought about ignoring him but I couldn't. There was no way I could let this go. I had to find out what HE was doing THERE.....
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Seeing him at Adidas, skimming over the boots, my perception of the game changed. An image of Mr Hitchcock in a football jersey and shorts kicking a ball around filled my head and sent shivers down my spine. Trying to avoid any form contact with him, I made a beeline for the door.
Panting, I flop onto my bed face first and try to get the picture of Mr Hitchcock out of my head. Still not being able to think of football in the same way, I ditched my usual habit of reading the stats from last night’s games before bed. Closing my eyes, I recalled my unfinished homework and sat bolt upright in bed. This was going to be a long night…
Sitting in Mr Hitchcock’s History class, I couldn’t concentrate as scenarios of him playing football found their way into my thoughts. No matter how hard I tried, nothing seemed to take my mind off of yesterday’s encounter. But am I overreacting? What if he was shopping for his nephew or son? As I pondered over these questions, I didn’t realise my name being called from the front of the room until Liam, my best friend, jabbed me from behind, bringing me back to reality.
“Uh…uh… yeah?” I managed to get out as Mr Hitchcock looked at me expectantly. “The answer please, miss Parker” I heard him ask. The silence was deafening as my eyes darted around the room, looking for some sort of distraction. Just as my I opened my mouth to reply with a half-hearted excuse, I heard the bell ring. Shaking his head and sighing, Mr Hitchcock dismissed the class. Any longer and I would have been a sputtering mess. As I was leaving the room, Mr Hitchcock stopped me just before I reached the door, with the 7 words I was dreading to hear.
“Miss Parker, may I speak to you?” Hands bunched into fists and eyes squeezed shut, I turned around to face my doom. I slowly opened my eyes when he didn’t say anything. To my astonishment, he had a calm look on his face accompanied by a soft smile. “Wha- what? What’s going on?” shrugging the question off, he pulled out a pair of orange-red T90 football boots out of his backpack and asked, “up for a game?”
Alia Adrianna Abishegam & Sasha Chu Jensen, Garden International School
My immediate reaction was to exclaim "No!! why would I want to play football with YOU? You're .....well lets face it not exactly in match condition are you??!!" I immediately clapped my hands over my mouth, certain I was going to get an exclusion at least but Mr Hitchcock just sighed and I'm sure his eyes were a bit watery. "I know, I know Miss Parker but I was once. They used to chant my name once upon a time, standing up in the stands and roaring at the goals I scored but that was a long time ago." Staring at his face I got an inkling of recognition but no it couldn't be..." You're not.....Hurricane Hitchcock of United are you....nah can't be lol, what an idiot I am..." but to my shock Mr Hitchcock was nodding. "Yes and now I've been asked to play in a reunion match but you can understand my problem. Being our top girl player I though you might help, and not take the mick as much as the boys but I understand if you don't want to." His hopeful eyes looked into mine.....
Bev Humphrey, Write Path Founder
'I will help you but you will have to get up very early and clean my boots. Oh and you have to give me an A+ in everything.'
'Ah Fine, I can deal with that.'
'Ok it is a deal then on the day of the match at the 85 minute Mr Hitchcock takes his shot and he...'
by Robbie, Alistair, Liam, David and Ryan. Wick High School
‘...Misses!’. You can hear the crowd laughing and joking. The sports narrator talking “What a shame. The best player United have ever had misses his debut shot! How embarrassing is that?” I put my head in my hands and the fans begin to swarm out of the arena from pure shame. Mr Hitchcock trudges over to me hanging his head in shame.
“I knew it! I knew I couldn’t do it! You see, this is the reason they sacked me!”
“What?! I thought you retired, it was all over the news!” He obviously noticed the shear surprise on my face as he looked to the floor before explaining what really happened...
He explained all that had happened in his football career. He said that the manager threatened him that he would kick him off the team unless he played better. Mr. Hitchcock explained that he had got distracted by one of his teammates getting injured by the opposition. Consequently, Hitchcock missed his chance to take the goal.
By Lucy Challender and Anna Fenemore at Ripley St Thomas C of E Academy
"Mr. Hitchcock, I want you to know that even though your turning old, look back and remember how well you played. You were one of the best. Think positively, or else you are going to pressure yourself."
Unexpectedly, someone from his team came over. "I heard what happened from the managers assistant, John." "Once the game started..." Hitchcock makes his move," said the spokesperson. But suddenly, five people were behind him with two others in front. It was obvious that he would not make it unless he slowed down, but then John, the captain, came out of nowhere and managed to distract them, which allowed Hitchcock to have a burst of hope and energy. While he sprinted, the crowd realized what what was going to happen and started cheering, urging him on. "Hurricane! Hurricane! Hurricane! Score!" He had made it, and I was happy. After it was over, I decided Hitchcock was not so bad after all.
Miguel and Hugo
New York City, New York