Nov 30 2012 By Tim Street
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STEVEN Caulker may have made a goalscoring debut for England last week – but Lucy Newman can remember telling him off for playing football in his socks.
Newman was Caulker's PE teacher at Lampton School in Hounslow only a few years ago before the Spurs defender's rapid rise to international stardom.
Having signed as a Spurs scholar while still at Lampton, the Feltham-born defender was shipped out to the likes of Yeovil, where he came up against boyhood heroes Brentford.
But after a successful spell at Swansea last season and featuring for Stuart Pearce's Team GB side in this summer's London Olympics, Caulker has this season established himself at White Hart Lane and made his England debut in Sweden last Wednesday.
And while none could be more proud than his former friends at Lampton – but Newman admits she thought Caulker would be a top sprinter rather than a footballer.
She said: “Steven was good at every sport, a real all-round talent, and I was always convinced he would reach international level – I just thought he would do it as a track athlete.
“He was a really good 800m runner and still holds the school record of 2:37 mins, which he set in year seven over at Lampton Park.
“But he did show a real talent for football too and stood out for the school team. He would play football every lunchtime, but I kept having to tell him off for playing in his socks!
“He was a great student who would behave and work really hard, and he was always well supported by his parents. I used to take him to Perivale athletics track along with some other students, but his were the parents who came along.
“There was a real buzz when he was picked for Team GB, and we had a special Olympics day to celebrate, and we were all so proud when he played and scored for England too.”
The first football shirt Caulker pulled on, however, was that of Hounslow Borough, a now defunct team who used to be based at the Conquest Club in Wood Lane, Isleworth.
Caulker never played for the Hounslow first XI, but made enough of an impact for their youth sides to come to the notice of the first team manager ar the time, Dennis Bainborough.
“I didn't have a lot to do with the youth set-up,” Bainborough told the Chronicle this week. “But I remember watching a few games with my nephew Michael Meaker (the former QPR and Wales midfielder), and he pointed Steven out straight away as someone who would do well in the game.”