TWO former Wilson's School footballers are set to come back to the borough of Croydon today (Saturday) to take part in the traditional Oxford versus Cambridge Varsity football match.
Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park has been chosen to stage this year's game and it will be a proud moment for Wilson's to welcome home Anthony Childs and Michael Moneke.
And the school's head of football, Mark Simmons, paid tribute to the pair who are set to be on opposite sides rather than playing alongside each other.
"Both of them are fantastic players," he said. "Anthony Childs was my first team captain and he scored some of the best goals I've ever seen at Wilson's School.
"In particular, he once scored a 40-yard strike against Hampton, and then in the away fixture against them, he scored a 25-yard volley. He also scored the winning free-kick against Hampton in the Surrey Cup final.
"Michael Moneke played centre-half and he's someone I'd take to war if I had to. And he was also head boy of his year group.
"He puts his body on the line and he shuts down the ball with his head sometimes.
"And being brave, he used to score goals from set-plays from corners or free-kicks because he had so much desire to win the ball.
"Being an enforcer, he never got beaten for pace and he'd always make amends and cover around others."
Furthermore, Simmons believes Childs, who is set to line up for Cambridge, was one of a kind in the school's history and pointed out his main attributes.
"He would win everything in the air.
"He was good on the ball and had a good range of passing, and his goals ratio was outstanding," he said.
"Even in training, he was the most serious trainer and there was a joke going around that his team never lost in training because he'd make sure they didn't lose.
"He was a winner and was probably one of the best central midfielders, if not the best we've ever had at Wilson's."
Moneke was in Year 11 at the school when he first witnessed Childs' ability, and Simmons revealed he would have wanted them to play in the same team more often.
He said: "I only managed to get them playing together in a couple of games due to their age gap – Michael was coming up as a Year 11 and I got him involved in some National Cup games.
"When they got to play with each other, Michael knew of Anthony because of skill and goals, and then Anthony got to watch Michael when his team won a competition at Redhill."
Next week, the school are planning to bring as many of their former players together to celebrate the success they had while Childs and Moneke were with them.
And Simmons believes they could play semi-professional at a good standard.
"They have the ability to play at a good non-league level but obviously, at the moment, their academic studies come first,"
"We've got a little reunion next Wednesday because Anthony was part of one of the most successful teams at Wilson's – they won seven trophies with him being captain.
"And Michael was part of a team that was part of the most successful years, from Years 7 to 13, they won the most amount of trophies.
"Anthony was captain of the best first XI and Michael was part of a team that won nine trophies in those seven seasons – and that's not including all of their league fixtures they won three times."
However, Simmons says he will not be able to attend tomorrow's game in SE25 as he is already away on tour with the school.
But he says there will be a good Wilson's contingent in support of the two boys.
"I've spoken to them via e-mail and I've wished them good luck ahead of Saturday.
"My loyalties are divided but I can't make it as we're on a football tour in Spain, with our Year 9 team.
"In fact, the Valencia Cup was one of the trophies Anthony won with us – we were the first team from the United Kingdom to win that.
"There are a number of staff going to the game at Selhurst Park, plus a number of players and pupils too.
"I'm really proud of them and it's really good to hear from them after they've left the school.
"We took them on so many tours and around the country, so we're over the moon they're playing for the two biggest universities in the country."