There’s nowhere I’d rather have gone than Hampton School

Nothing beats being an Old Hamptonian

Hampton School is a selective independent day school for boys in Hampton, South West London.

I spent five years at Hampton and in my final few months at the school, I couldn’t wait to see the back of it. However, looking back on it now, I can’t think of anywhere I’d have rather gone.

Photo: Shaun Ferguson

Photo: Shaun Ferguson

Known for both its academic and sporting excellence, feared on both the football pitch and the chessboard, Hampton is truly a remarkable establishment.

Founded in 1557, it has educated many a hero: Queen guitarist Brian May, Olympic Gold-winning rowers Greg and Jonny Searle, Inbetweeners writer Iain Morris, and of course the infamous “poo bandit”, the criminal mastermind with a knack for defecating on the floors of the changing rooms.

To our left were our new friends, Hampton Academy (formerly Hampton Community College), always quick with such witty retorts as “posh twats” and “wankers.”

To our right, Lady Eleanor Holles School, our female counterparts who never ceased to be disgusted or angered at our behaviour. “Sorry, I have no idea who took a shit on the table at your party” (Yes, I do. We all do.)

LEH

We’ve probably beaten you at football; Milton Keynes was practically our second home. We’ve probably beaten you at rugby – that is unless you went to Dulwich College (eek.)

However, the sportsmen you’d find within the representative teams of these two sports are nothing when compared to the elite athletic excellence found within the school’s internal football competition, Social League.

Amidst the tobacco smoke and burger sweat of the 3G pitch on a Wednesday was where dreams were made and heroes were born (when the players actually decided to show up.)

If sport wasn’t for you (and believe me, for many it wasn’t) there were various ways to spend your free time at Hampton. Maybe you were in the library, pushing for that chance at Oxbridge. Perhaps you were involved in the many extra-curricular activities Hampton had to offer (Gardening Club being a personal favourite.)

You may even have been devouring Michelin star quality paninis in the common room while watching Jeremy Kyle or Cheaters, which resulted in the kitchen staff chasing you around the common room with a spatula for breaking something (a weirdly common occurrence.)

At weekends, if they weren’t causing chaos at Hawelis, they could be found in Kingston’s worst club Pryzm, or the equally shit Fez Club in Putney. Some would even make the journey to Hammersmith to an establishment where, “have you got any ID?” was usually met with laughter instead of obedience.

Footie

You could often hear jokes which would make Frankie Boyle cringe, where “cunt” was considered a term of endearment and the reckless behaviour would make you question whether Hampton was a school or a young offender’s institution.

Did you hear about the guy who vomited in front of hundreds of his peers and teachers at the senior sports dinner after pre-drinking for it? We did.

What did I learn at Hampton? Probably not as much as I should have, but when I look back on my time there I can’t help but smile. Hampton made me angry at times, and occasionally it made me sad. But what it did most of all was make me laugh, every single day, without a doubt.

Old Hamptonians go through a lot of shit together, and the friendships you make there will last you until the day you die – and when you do, you know an Old Hamptonian will crack the first joke about it.

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