Former Falmouth School pupil and professional footballer Matthew Etherington gave two of his former teachers a day to remember on Saturday as he made them his guests for Stoke City’s match against Manchester City.
Etherington, who grew up in the area and played for Falmouth Town Under-14s, has been at Stoke City for the past three seasons having enjoyed a highly successful football career at Peterborough United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.
He left Falmouth School in year 7, but has not forgotten his roots - remembering the teachers who helped him take his first steps on the road to becoming a professional footballer.
Jeff Maddern and Paul Radmore, his former PE teachers at Falmouth, were contacted through Matthew’s father Peter, who said his son would like to offer them the chance to be his guests at a Premier League game this season.
They chose to go to the club’s match with Manchester City on Saturday, which saw Stoke earn a credible 1-1 draw - thanks partly to a wonder goal from Peter Crouch. Jeff Maddern, said it was a day to remember. “The day was amazing,” he said. “Thirty thousand Stoke supporters inside the Britannia Stadium make a lot of noise and it was really, really special to witness Crouch’s goal.”
Jeff and Paul were joined after the match by Matthew, who stayed and chatted to them for half an hour - reminiscing about his time at Falmouth.
He also gave them a signed shirt to take back, which is going to be framed and presented to Falmouth School.
Speaking about Matthew, Jeff, added: “He was great, he was really keen to remember his past at Falmouth and he was really pleased that we had made the effort to come along.
“He doesn’t forget his roots. He comes down to Cornwall once or twice a year. He is still in contact with guys like James Miller, who has played to a decent standard at local football, Toby Clarke and a few of the other lads who were in his tutor group.”
Jeff also said that he could tell Matthew was going to be a great sportsman from a young age.
“Matthew was a talented all-rounder," he said. "He could play basketball and he was scrum-half at rugby. I remember receiving a letter from Barry Fry (Peterborough United’s director of football) asking me not to select him for any teams games and to wrap him up in cotton wool. This was because at that point he was going up, being transported by his dad, to play for Peterborough Youth team every weekend. You could see he had massive potential.”