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Giles Brereton

(Mechanical Engineering, 1977-80)
Giles shares his memories of the Imperial Football Club in the late 70's/ early 80's

IC 2nd XI, April 1980When I arrived for my first year at Imperial, and promptly joined the Football Club, I found I had already missed by one week the highlight of the decade: Imperial had just played a practice match against England at Harlington, as part of England's preparation for a friendly against Switzerland (and our preparation for the UL league). I think England lent us their centre-forward in exchange for ours (a fair swap in those days), and squeezed out a 10-1 win. Over the next three years, I played in every game for Imperial that I possibly could, but never got any closer to the England squad. (Photo above, Back Row (left to right): Barry Hatton, Dennis Cook, Jim Beer, Alec Betts, Dick Veenman, Giles Brereton.
Front Row (left to right): Graeme Rickard, Dave McPhail, Phil Niccols, Kevin Buckley, Brian Scannel, Declan McGuckin).

Back in the 70's, Harlington had beautifully kept fields, but always gale-force winds. On getting off the coach from the Union, Arthur Lovejoy--our beloved groundsman--would offer his usual cheery greeting, amply embellished with expletives. During my 40 odd years of playing, coaching and refereeing football matches, I've never met anyone since who could slice the half-time oranges into so many pieces. Whenever we left Harlington, there always seemed to be a massive scrum at the door of the coach as we scrambled to get a seat---even if there were only 11 of us and the coach seated sixty---maybe they should have strengthened the mathematics entrance requirements.

The dressing room banter, and exactly what can be cured with a quick spray of Ralgex (do they still make it?), still seems as clear to me as if it were yesterday. But most of my memories are of a handful of games in which we were two or three goals down and came back to win. Of Football Club dinners and the uncertainty over whether or not we were banned from holding them in the Union, on account of some minor club infraction. And of my many team mates who gave it everything, in every single game.

  © 2007 Imperial College London

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