A coveted duty was to be one of the marshals for the long jump. This was presided over by the head of maths, who used to sit under a beach umbrella and hold court with a thermos flask and ice box with a day’s supply of G&T in it. He would direct kids from his chair and the event ran like clockwork.
I was the man with the gun who in my first year of starting races managed to officiate in about six races where records were broken in 200m & 300m. This was until we worked out that I was starting the students from the front of the changeover box used only for the relay races. This line was 10 m in front of the correct starting point. Oops!
One other monster cock up I made was in the event that was always a grand finale – the year 10 boys’ 4x100m relay. Having sent them off with no hitch I saw that there were two more caps in the pistol. The race was on its third changeover when I decided to be lazy and not take out the caps but to shoot them off instead. I did not know that two sharp rounds from the gun was a signal for a false start, but it certainly dawned on me when the whole race ground to a halt and the whole school turned round to look at the muppet who had stopped the race.
I think PE Department award me a medal for that ‘Champagne moment’ in the leavers’ assembly for that year group.