Rugby legend Martin Johnson received a rousing reception when he went back to his old school in Harborough

The all-time rugby union great chatted with youngsters as he toured the school, offered tips to a Year 6 pupil and gave an interview about his time as a pupil during the late 1970s and early 1980s

Monday, 12th October 2020, 12:04 pm
Martin Johnson returns to Ridgeway Primary Academy.

England rugby union legend Martin Johnson received a rousing reception when he went back to support his old school in Market Harborough.

The 6ft 7ins World Cup-winning skipper and former British and Irish Lions and Leicester Tigers star made a triumphant return to pioneering Ridgeway Primary Academy.

Martin, 50, attended the school on The Ridgeway from the age of seven as he grew up in Market Harborough – and he still lives near the town.

Martin Johnson and Ridgeway Football Team in 1981.

The all-time rugby union great chatted with youngsters as he toured the school, offered tips to a Year 6 pupil and gave an interview about his time as a pupil during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Martin’s interview will feature in a new film Ridgeway Primary Academy is making to inspire children into dreaming big and fulfilling their true potential.

The film is due to be released later this month on the school’s social media pages and website.

And it will be shown to the pupils via their virtual assembly, while social distancing measures are in place.

Martin Johnson returns to Ridgeway Primary Academy.

Head of School Dave Turner said: “It was a huge pleasure to welcome Martin back to Ridgeway and to hear about his time here.

“Watching him chat to our rugby-mad pupil and offering some tips was fantastic.”

Meanwhile, 2022 marks the high-performing primary school’s 50th anniversary.

Staff are starting to create a special memories and aspirations wall and they would love to hear from former pupils.

Sarah Bishop, the executive headteacher of Ridgeway Primary Academy and Great Bowden Academy, said: “We know Ridgeway was cutting edge when it first opened in 1972.

“At that time it was open plan, had a kiln, a sunken auditorium in the studio and was used as the model for many others across the country.

“The school has changed a lot over time providing learning spaces and classrooms that are more appropriate for today’s education.”

She added: “We now have individual classrooms and our own beautiful library, as well as break-out spaces, a sensory room for children with SEN (special educational needs)mand a dedicated sports coach who works alongside our class teachers.

“So much has happened over the last 50 years, that we’d love to know where our former pupils have ended up.

“Whether you’ve become a roofer, banker, sportsman or care giver, we’d love to know.

“Did your time at Ridgeway set you up for life?

“What are your fondest memories?

“Please help us to inspire the next generation to become their very best selves by sharing your memories with us.”

Over 2,000 pupils will have attended Ridgeway since it opened its doors.

To share your thoughts and any old photos, please email the school’s Office on [email protected] and the school will get back in touch with you.