THE principal of a Derby secondary academy has faced her worst nightmare by wearing the kit of her arch-rival football club for charity.
Michelle Strong, principal of Alvaston Moor Academy on Bracken’s Lane in Derby, bravely donned a Blackburn Rovers football shirt over the course of a school day.
Mrs Strong is from Lancashire and an ardent supporter of Burnley Football Club, whose long-standing rivals are Blackburn Rovers.
After students at Alvaston Moor Academy reached their target fundraising goal for BBC Children in Need, Mrs Strong agreed to fulfil her half of the bargain by wearing the Blackburn Rovers football shirt for the day.
But the Burnley fan of 54 years said she had found it difficult to even touch the shirt and insisted it should be washed at school so she did not have to take it home!
The dreaded football shirt had not arrived in time for BBC Children in Need, but students at the school had not forgotten Mrs Strong’s promise and so she ended up wearing it in early December, fittingly, in the midst of the World Cup.
“Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge football fan and I’ve been a supporter of Burnley all my life! I don’t get to go to many of their games these days but I do try to catch them when I can.
“It was very hard for me to even look at the blue and white colours of the Blackburn Rovers kit but I did manage to wear my rival club’s shirt all day and I’m really pleased we raised money for BBC Children in Need.
“In all seriousness, I think it’s important for me in my position in this school to do things like this, to show that school is not all work, work, work. It shows students that teachers are human and it’s about raising money for charity.
“By raising money for BBC Children in Need the students at Alvaston Moor have realised that there are children worse off than them. Doing things like this is about building relationships with the students in my school too.”
The Blackburn Rovers kit was not the only special outfit worn by Mrs Strong at school. On the day of BBC Children in Need, she also donned a full yellow Pudsey outfit to get into the spirit of the day.
As to which outfit suited her better, we will leave it for readers to decide!