Class 10 write to the England Football TEam
Following on from the Italy V England final on Sunday, Class 10 were outraged by the racial abuse that took place both online and within communities. They spoke about human rights and decided to write to Gareth Southgate and the England team to show their support and to stand up to racism. Pupils were able to talk about the football successes and highlights from the tournament, I was very proud of them. Someone who knows Mrs Tindsley, felt so touched by the letter, that he has replied to them all.
Letter from Class 10
Dear Gareth Southgate, the England team and especially Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka,
We are a year 4 class in a beautifully diverse Nottingham City school who want to send you our support and thanks for the joy you have given us during this tournament, especially in these difficult times. We LOVE football and many of us play for football teams. Please don’t listen to the few people who have seen losing last night as a reason to say hurtful and negative things.
We know how special it is that we have experienced seeing England in the final of a major tournament, when as a nation we have been waiting for 55 years! Of course we are disappointed we didn’t win, but what we have spoken about this morning as we arrived at school is how brilliant our team have been. How proud you have made us as a nation, how you have inspired a generation of children, like us, who want to be just like you! We have together celebrated every success that you have had and have loved being part of something so exciting, so hopeful and so positive.
We wanted to tell you about a few of our favourite memories from the tournament:
“I’ve enjoyed ALL of it!”
“I’m proud of all of the penalty takers, especially Sancho, Rashford and Saka”
“Harry Kane’s penalty when he scored off the rebound.”
“The speed of Shaw’s first goal last night!”
“When we won 4 – 0 against Ukraine!”
“Knowing you’d tried your best even though we didn’t win.”
“When Pickford saved Belotti’s penalty.”
“When Saka and Stirling worked together to score against Denmark.”
“When we scored our first goal against Germany.”
“When we kept our heads up and got the goal to equalise and then win against Denmark.”
“Talking to the children each day about the games and seeing how excited and proud they have been to support you during this tournament and see you reach the final.” (Mrs Tindsley, Class teacher)
We know you did everything you could to ‘bring football home’. This wasn’t our time but maybe, just maybe it will be next year at the World Cup - where we will again be right behind you! Thank you for all you did and for giving us memories that will last a lifetime.
Sent with pride,
Class 10, Old Basford School, Nottingham.
Reply from a friend of Mrs Tindsley
Dear Mrs Tindsley and Class 10 of Old Basford School
I hope that you get responses to your letter from people much more famous than me but I wanted to send this message to you to thank you very much for writing it. Mrs Tindsley showed me the letter you had written to Gareth and the boys and it gave me happiness and a sense of pride that I had been missing yesterday.
I drove to work with tears in my eyes yesterday. This wasn’t because of the football result but because of some of the hurtful and negative things that had been written by so called England fans the night before. Your letter reminded me that those people who wrote those things are not my England fans but that you are. I agree with you that losing is never and will never be an acceptable excuse for hate.
The letter also got me thinking about my own happy memories of football tournaments that I enjoyed when I was a similar age to you. The first tournament I really remember was the World Cup in 1990 which was hosted in Italy, I am old!
Here are a few of my memories.
• The joy of a player called Roger Milla who played for Cameroon who would dance with the corner flag every time he scored a goal, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I copied that celebration!
• My own joy when England beat Cameroon in the Quarter finals with Gary Lineker, he wasn’t just some old bloke who talked about football then, scoring two penalties which he smashed down the middle of the goal.
• The enthusiasm of Paul Gascoigne playing central midfield for England and being the very best player in the world at that point in time.
• The disappointment as England were beaten in a penalty shoot out in the semi finals and one of my heroes and Nottingham Forest legends, Stuart Pearce, missing his penalty and seeing the pain that he went through. Although Stuart would conquer that particular failure by scoring twice in penalty shoot outs in Euro 1996.
Football and sport have given me so many great memories and it is so good to hear that many of you play for football teams and take such enjoyment from the game. I hope that continues forever. I am personally very lucky to still call many of the people I played with and against at your age some of my very best friends. This includes Mrs Tindsley’s husband who is one of the very best Keepers I have had the pleasure of scoring against (many times).
Reading your letter reminded me that life is very much like football and that the way to be successful is to work together as a team and not against each other. Your letter made me certain that I would always want to be on your team.