The Adrian Goldberg phone-in today discussed the gap in sports performance between private and state schools. This brought to mind Hockley in the 60s, when St George’s football team reached the semi-finals of some competition and faced a team from Sutton Coldfield. Their good class-teacher/coach, a Mr Richards, said they wouldn’t win and I thought he was just being pessimistic as they had done so well hitherto. On the day of the match the Hockley boys were ahead at half-time, but Mr Richards explained that due to poorer nutrition, they lacked stamina and would flag in the second half.

As the Hockley boys were turning blue at half-time, visibly taller and heavier Sutton Coldfield lads were snugly wrapped in tracksuits. A final plus was that the side which finally won was cheered on by many parents, whilst the Hockley parents were all at work in industry on Saturdays – in those days of almost full employment.

Has this gap between the condition of children in state schools disappeared?