JOCK Campbell enjoyed life as an all round sportsman on the Isle of Wight.

In football, wingers were always happy to keep as far away as they could.

On the squash courts, he won many titles with his competitive instincts and he had his moments as a schoolboy sprinter and later at darts and table tennis.

In reality, his 12 years at Newport’s St George’s School, working with young adults with varying problems, has given him his greatest personal satisfaction.

I feel it’s about time Jock’s double life was made public.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jock, second left, back row, Jock played for Island club, Foresters FC on the Isle of Wight.Jock, second left, back row, Jock played for Island club, Foresters FC on the Isle of Wight.

Hundreds of Island young people owe so much to him for his time, patience and enthusiasm towards making their lives more enjoyable.

He even went to Milan to address a multi-nation conference, which may surprise some of his old soccer pals — and a few opponents who still have the scars from his fearsome tackles.

Hence, he was labelled Cruncher Campbell.

Jock, who was a noted schoolboy 100 yards sprinter, had quite a shock when he made his Island League soccer debut for JS Whites Reserves.

They lost 10-0 to the talented Cowes Youth team.

Things got better when he moved to Binstead. They won Division Three (East) Some of his Ryde Youth Club mates eventually persuaded him to join Seaview.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jock Campbell today.Jock Campbell today.

After a season in their talented reserve team, he moved up into their much-feared first team and the battles commenced against the likes of Parkhurst, Brading, Saro Sports and West Wight.

Looking back on those days Jock told me: “The one man I would have loved to play with was Oscar Stretch.

“We kicked each other many times but I had a lot of respect for him.”

Jock did move to Church Litten to play Hampshire League soccer for Newport.

He lost his place three months into the season and they only had one team in those days.

To get regular football, he moved to BHC.

The Old Road club had an all-star team and they won the Island League.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jock with wife Ann, at the exclusive Talk of the Town club in London.Jock with wife Ann, at the exclusive Talk of the Town club in London.

There he was thrilled to play in the same team as his close pal, Mick Kirk.

Years later, the two of them watched Mick’s son, Adam, play guitar for Joan Baez.

Then in the early 70s, he joined Graham Daish’s talented East Cowes Vics team.

They also had the Island’s two toughest full-backs, Jock and Dave Young.

“In one game, our opponents played two up front, with one winger. Suddenly he came across to my side, after being marked by Dave, and told me our right back was mad.

I just said “is he?” and we never saw him at all in the second half.”

Later, he helped Newport Reserves to win two Island League titles, before retiring.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jock Campbell doing a charity cycle ride.Jock Campbell doing a charity cycle ride.

In October the following season, he was asked to make up an East Cowes Vics Reserves team, who were one short.

He signed on for just the one game — or so he thought.

By May, they had won the Island League. It was his third winner’s medal in a row.

Jock formed the Foresters Sunday League team and, eventually, some East Cowes Vics first team players couldn’t even get in their side.

They had team bonding sessions every Saturday night at the Bugle Inn, Newport.

In fact, it was really to see who was fit for the next day.

On the eve of one huge clash with the East Cowes-based Robin Hood team, Jock rang Graham Daish, their manager, at the pub, and pretended to be Island football writer, Mick Bull.

Mr Daish never twigged and he gave away their team and formation.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jock at St George's School, Newport.Jock at St George's School, Newport.

Jock’s team were 2-0 up in ten minutes.

Another great personal memory was when he and his lovely wife, Ann, went to London’s top cabaret restaurant, The Talk of the Town, to see Frankie Vaughan.

His bill, including a meal for two, was just £9,19 shillings. Those were the days.

For 20 years, Jock was quite a force in Island squash circles.

With Jackie Mouat, he won the Island mixed doubles for at least ten years in a row and he also clinched the men’s doubles title with Chris Green. For a while he played six times a week.

“At soccer, I hated to lose, but I enjoy squash, win or lose,” said Jock, when I interviewed him back in 1983.

That old competitive streak really did come back in doubles tournaments.

Jock played table tennis for Newport Vics and darts for the Barley Mow B.

During his working life he began in a shipyard and eventually moved into bar management. The latter included the Trouville Hotel, Westridge Leisure Centre and finally 20 years at the BHC Club.

Thankfully, Jock recovered from cancer and was looking for a new challenge.

This came when he became a learning support assistant at the then Watergate School, which became St George’s.

It proved a milestone in his life and was so rewarding.

The students loved him — and he could be strict.

When he and five friends did the C2C Pennines sponsored cycle ride from Whitehaven to Newcastle, which raised over £3,000, he had a back problem, which later led to an epidural in his spine.

During his recovery, he had so many letters and get well cards from the school. I found it emotional just reading them.

Even now, he gets stopped in the street by ex-students.

When Sue Holman became headteacher, she gave him such support and encouragement — as did so many friends, local businesses and caring Island people went out of their way to help him achieve his projects.

The special needs school had a £7,000 grant for a sensory garden project, later named the Dragon Project.

Jock was put in charge and he asked each class what they would like in the garden. Their surprise ideas included an outdoor classroom, a fruit garden and a greenhouse.

They achieved all of those dreams and more.

Those 12 years changed Jock’s life. It was so therapeutic, after recovering from a life-threatening illness.

In hindsight, he wishes working with young adults with learning and physical difficulties had come much earlier in his life.

Oh dear! I nearly forgot. Jock is a lifelong Newcastle supporter. There is no truth in the rumour he is forming another consortium for a rival takeover bid — but he does have a mask in their colours to go shopping with.