Date: 8 Mar 2010
Cricket legend Brian Lara and former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke visited Trinity School Croydon, south London, on Monday 8 March 2010 to mark Commonwealth Day. They spoke to the students on a wide range of subjects after taking clinics in their respective sports.
Lara on Commonwealth Day:
I think itís great. I mean coming to try to teach school was a great experience - youíre spending a couple of hours with the kids, they are very enthusiastic. My feeling in terms of the cricket, youíve got some very, very talented youngsters. I enjoyed spending time with them, maybe we needed a little bit more time together, hopefully Iíll come back. As you said itís Commonwealth day, itís also International Womenís Day. And to be ending it meeting the Queen, I think weíre looking forward to that as well.
Lara on leadership in sport:
I think itís a gift, I mean to be able to be a good leader you have to be able to motivate people and Iíve had my share of ups and downs in leadership in terms of the West Indies cricket but itís a great honour to have led the West Indies team. I think for me it was a learning experience because beyond the cricket field there is a lot of life and Iím in my forties now and in charge of a few companies so obviously leadership is important, so I believe for any young person who might assume captaincy of a cricket team or football team I think itís very, very important that they understand and learn about the people that they are dealing with, their team mates around them and know how it is to motivate them.
Yorke on school visit:
Itís been a fascinating day; I think we thoroughly enjoyed it. Itís something that we like to give back to the community anyway and with our sporting achievement this was nice to come back and show the kids and be part of a very enthusiastic school thatís interested in sports and itís nice to be associated with them.
Yorke tips Spain to win World Cup; fancies Englandís chances:
Itís not an easy competition to win. In answer to your question I think I like Spain. People will say England have a very good chance and they do have an exceptional chance when you compare to what they have done over the years with the kind of talent that they have in the team, one in Wayne Rooney and people like Gerrard and Lampard, they should be winning the world cup, whether they turn up in the competition and play to win, they can play to win in the competition, is a different thing, but for me right now in terms of form, in terms of team, ethics, and the way they are playing as a team and how the Spanish coach has got them playing, I think Spain in any one in football in the world right now, Spain will be the one that is the favourite
Yorke on the best footballer heís played with:
Iíve had the pleasure of playing alongside the likes of Ryan Giggs who I think is an exceptional player and not just that but an exceptional guy as well, youíve got the likes of Paul Scholes who for me is probably arguably one of the better players that I have played alongside. And then you can look at people like Roy Keane, David Beckham, I mean the list keeps going on - Peter Schmeichel, as I said I was very lucky and very blessed that I played with such a great team. So itís very difficult to choose who was the best player that Iíve played with but those players that Iíve mentioned are the players that I will say are the ultimate players in world football.
Why Yorke left Manchester United:
Thatís not for me really to decide, the manager is the one who makes those decisions. As I said the time I was there, for the four years that I was there, my first year we won within the year. The second year we won the premier league by 18 points, the third year we won the premier league by 16 points, and then you think to yourself why does the manager need to change but this is why heís so good. For years and years so many times he continues to bring in what they say younger blood. In my fourth year I was into my thirties so he probably needed some change, he needed new ideas, new players. They wanted Ruud van Nistelrooy and he came, what an exceptional replacement he was. The manager, heís the one who makes those decisions. As players we would like to stay there for ever, it was not to be but, thatís the nature of sport, there will be a time in everyoneís life when you have to move on and it was my time to move on then.
Lara on West Indies cricket standards:
I think it will be difficult to be as invincible as we were back in the seventies and eighties. Even when I started we were on the decline and we were not playing series 5-0 like we did in the past. I believe that our structure is not good, we do not have the academies to support the youngsters and our team is still built on natural ability and in sport nowadays natural ability is a small part of it. The amount of technology that is happening and how people are learning about the game much faster, I believe we need to head in that direction and thereís nowhere on the horizon that Iíve seen where we have taken that step. Weíve got, first of all, the West Indies cricket team is the only united force in the Caribbean. We do our politics differently, soccer is different (?) someone else is playing football in Barbados they do not unite and the cultural difference is also very tough for us but I think the main thing is that we need to set up academies and not necessarily every single island having one but I think we should have a centralised academy where all the youngsters come together under good coaches, may be past players, does not matter who the coaches are as long as they are well qualified and get them together working. I believe if we do that then maybe 5-10 years down the line you can see some semblance of what we were doing in the past but at present I think we are just doing what we did 20-25 years ago and hoping that the kids with the talent will come though and we will beat people around the world, and thatís not happening as you see...
Download the speech: Transcript of Brian Lara, Dwight Yorke comments at London school 8 March 2010