Three influential figures from the world of football shared their stories with a packed hall of captivated Tring School pupils.
David Dein, former vice-chairman of Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association, explained how the Premier League has grown.
He was joined by legendary commentator John ‘Motty’ Motson and football accountant, Dan Jones – a former deputy head boy of Tring School.
It was a real coup for the school to assemble the trio and the students listened attentively to words of advice on how to be successful.
“It was fantastic,” said Year 12 pupil Will Darraugh. “The talk was enjoyable and interesting.
“It was about being the best you can be – not just in football but in life.” Katy Colwell, 16, added: “I wasn’t actually expecting to enjoy it but it was very interesting.”
Mr Jones, who was in Ashridge house, left the school in 1988. He now leads Deloitte’s work in sport around the world.
“It’s very strange to be back,” he said. “It’s good to be back but strange. I’ve been meaning to go to one of David’s talks and when he said here, it made the choice for me.”
Dein’s talk covered business, technology and how to motivate millionaires but he applied psychological principles such as ‘sticking your neck out’ and ‘having a vision’ to life in general.
He explained how behaviour and attitude are crucial for any budding pro and how striving to be the best was the motivation for developing the Premier League into the global entertainment brand it has become.
Motson, who lives in Little Gaddesden, commentated on hundreds of football matches, including all major tournaments, from 1971 until 2008. He continues to cover games for Match of the Day and appears on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Asked about what it takes to carve out a career in sports broadcasting, Motson said: “A lot of people contact me about it and I always say it takes a lot of persistence and perseverance. It can be done but there’s no easy way of doing it.”
He said his favourite match to commentate on was England’s 5-1 victory over Germany in 2001 although he admitted describing it live as ‘the best win since the war’ wasn’t his smartest remark.