Eton v Harrow: Father Time draws near for annual schoolboy Lord’s jolly

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One of the last editions of the fixture played out on Friday with the youngsters largely given the run of the place

They were the last hurrahs for Eton v Harrow at Lord’s, loud enough that you could hear them from way down Wellington Road. From that distance it sounded rather like the place had been taken over by a couple of hundred schoolboys shouting out Ten German Bombers, which wasn’t quite right; the bombers in this particular version of the song were actually from Harrow. It was one of a series of chants, along with, a little later in the day, renditions of “No noise from the strawberry boys”, which was apparently aimed at the Etonians, and was met with a retort of “Twenty prime ministers”.

The two schools have been playing their annual match here since, well, before here was even here. The first game between them, in 1805, was held at the old Lord’s ground, down in Dorset Square. More than two centuries later, its time is just about up. MCC actually cancelled it last February but was forced to backtrack when a handful of members kicked up a stink over not being consulted first. So the club ran a survey to get a sense of the opinion among the membership. Among the 8,907 members who responded, 44% were in favour of keeping it and 43% were opposed.

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Written by Andy Bull at Lord’s | Photographs: Tom Jenkins
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