I joined Cray Valley in 1962 with Alan Souter and Keith Coleman from Chislehurst Road Primary School; Keith was my best man some 10 years later. My father had a small farm in Sevenoaks Way opposite the school and our house became a popular drop in for friends from school.
I loved sport at Cray and I was fortunate to play with some highly talented rugby players Colin Barber, Andy Bray, and Dave McKinnon spring to mind.
I played for Kent U/19s but I was plagued by injuries; broken leg, collar bone, arm etc. But with Martin's (can I call him that?) 'encouragement' I was soon back in action and I continued my rugby career with Metropolitan Police, Blackheath and Kent.
I am convinced that the Cray Valley approach of being highly competitive on the pitch combined with good manners to opponents and officials stood me in good stead both as a player and as a coach to youngsters. During my time at Cray Mr Carr had the benefit of three excellent assistants who were current 1st team club players; Phil Lewis,Sidcup, Alan Eaton, Westcombe Park, and Peter Horton later an Australian international hooker. I still meet old opponents from the likes Chis & Sid, Dartford, Gravesend and St Marys who remember their tussles with Cray Valley. Years after leaving school my journey to work used to take me up the Sidcup by-pass and I noticed the steady change to the pitches; first the red and black posts became white, then they steadily fell down, and then they were replaced by soccer posts!
I joined the Met Police after school working in the West End, I then transferred to Kent Police (who sent me to the LSE for 3 years) and rose to Chief Inspector before transferring back to the Met as a Superintendent in South London. As a Commander and later a Deputy Assistant Commissioner I was in charge of crime and public order. I was fortunate to be involved in a number of high profile murder investigations, crime campaigns, serious disorder and royal events. I retired from the Met 2 years ago and joined British Transport Police as Deputy Chief Constable and was involved in the police response to the 7/7 bombings.
I'm very proud to be an old boy of Cray Valley and to have benefited from the likes of Mr Kingsland and Mr Mayo, and to have had such fun with a wide range of friends.