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Guildhall Feoffment Primary, in Bury St Edmunds, football coach retires after over 30 years of service




A primary school football team coach, who helped train a current Cambridge United star, is retiring after over three decades of service.

Rob Morgan, 62, of Bury St Edmunds, started volunteering to help out with the Guildhall Feoffment Community Primary football club back when his son, now 39, was eight-years-old.

“I went along with him and was helping out the man that took the football club and he was a teacher at the school,” Rob said.

Rob Morgan is retiring after over 30 years coaching the football team at Guildhall Feoffment Primary. Rob with his wife Jenny and Nico Hopfenspurger, and student Jack Ellis. Picture: Mark Westley.
Rob Morgan is retiring after over 30 years coaching the football team at Guildhall Feoffment Primary. Rob with his wife Jenny and Nico Hopfenspurger, and student Jack Ellis. Picture: Mark Westley.

“So I used to go along with other parents and I did that for several years and then the man that ran the club retired in 1996, and there was no one there to take the club on so it was me that did it.”

Rob said some of his fondest memories had been seeing the progress the children had made across the teams.

“It’s just seeing the children come along at five-years-old and often a bit shy and quiet and not really being into it, and then seeing the development over the years,” he said.

Rob made a speech at the big goodbye on Wednesday. Picture: Mark Westley.
Rob made a speech at the big goodbye on Wednesday. Picture: Mark Westley.

“By the time they have got to 11 they have really progressed.”

He added one of their biggest outputs had been Jack Lankester, who went on to play for Ipswich Town’s youth teams, before recently signing for Cambridge United.

“He was the one who has progressed the most, Jack’s the one I’m most proud of,” Rob said.

Now Rob is retiring, he said he was looking forward to spending more time in his garden, but that he would miss the children, parents and staff at Guildhall Feoffment.

The school held an outdoor assembly on Wednesday to wave Rob goodbye. Picture: Mark Westley.
The school held an outdoor assembly on Wednesday to wave Rob goodbye. Picture: Mark Westley.

“I would say thanks to all the parents and everybody,” he said.

“And the teachers at the school have been very supportive.”

As a thank you for his years of service, a special outdoor assembly was held on the school field on Wednesday.

Rob used to coach the football team alongside his telecommunications job. Picture: Mark Westley.
Rob used to coach the football team alongside his telecommunications job. Picture: Mark Westley.

Rob is also holding his final session with the young footballers tomorrow.

Anna Cummings, PE coordinator at Guildhall Feoffment, was full of praise for Rob, who gave up Saturday mornings and Monday evenings to coach.

Rob said some of his fondest memories had been seeing the progression of the children over the years. Picture: Mark Westley.
Rob said some of his fondest memories had been seeing the progression of the children over the years. Picture: Mark Westley.

She said he had, among other things, organised matches, written a weekly email with match reports, made sure other coaches met FA guidelines, fund-raised and a ‘million other jobs’.

She said his 30 years of service had been ‘such an achievement’ and felt his loyalty and commitment to the school needed to be recognised.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

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