On Thursday April 19th, young rising O’s star Danny Happe paid a visit to his old primary school in Chingford to reminisce with his former teachers as well as chat with the current school football team.
It’s been almost eight years since he was last at Chase Lane Primary even though he has siblings that still attend, and on entry, the centre back caused gasps of amazement due to his now formidable height! School Headteacher, Carolyn Houstoun, couldn’t quite believe it was the same person. “He’s certainly grown since he left us,” she mused as she looked up at the 6’4” former pupil.
Danny was invited to chat with some Year 6 pupils as well as the school football team and answer questions on his school life at Chase Lane as well as his life now as a professional footballer and all that that entails.
“I’m living my dream job,” said Danny, “and always wanted to be a footballer.” And on the question of what he’d like to do after football, he said, “Hopefully that’s a long way off as I’ve just started my career really but I think I’d like to become a coach, maybe for the school team!”
There were lots of intelligent and probing questions from the boys including why he plays for Leyton Orient. Danny explained, “I was actually at West Ham but when they released me I was pleased Orient invited me to play for them. In fact it was then I became a centre half as before that I was playing midfield. As I got taller I moved further back!”
“It’s been a real pleasure having Danny back in the school today and I know the boys were thrilled to chat with him,” continued Carolyn. “He also left us some tickets for the game on Saturday (v Wrexham) and we’ll be there to cheer him on. We’ve already asked him to pop back next season so we’ll look forward to that”.