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Written by:
Paul Holland
19 Jul 2022

After almost 20 years at Trinity Hall, Malcolm Pearman hangs up his porter’s uniform and leaves behind a footballing legacy to be proud of.

Malcom spent 19 years and two months at Trinity Hall. “Where we’re sat now was all fields when I started” says Malcom as he sits in the Porter’s Lodge at Wychfield site.

He’s seen a lot of changes at the College. The new buildings at Wychfield plus much more: renovations of staircases, the sports pavilion and boathouse; and the creation of the new WongAvery Music Gallery on Central Site.

But Malcolm’s fondest memories are not measured in bricks and mortar, instead they’re in the students the keen footballer has coached through the years. And leaving that behind is hard he says.

“It’s been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. The last General Admissions this June meant I’d seen about 2,400 students graduate. In my time I’ve worked with around 60 different porters and so I’ve endless stories and memories to look back on, most of which are good!”

Glancing behind him Malcolm points to a cabinet filled with sporting trophies: “But that Cabinet; that’s my legacy.”

Malcolm took on the role of coaching the Trinity Hall Women’s Football Club in 2003 for a couple of years and took it up again in 2010, serving in the role for a further eight years. During his time with them the club excelled, rising through the University women’s football divisions.

A list of their achievements, says Malcom with pride, includes Plate winners in 2012 and 2013, CUWAFC Division 3 Champions 2014/15, CUWAFC Division 2 Champions 2015/16 and CUWAFC Division 1 Champions in 2017/18.

Malcolm also organised the Staff Vs Fellows annual cricket match from 2003 – 2011 and started the College 7-a-side football tournament that ran from 2007 to 2019.

His love of the beautiful game began when as a youngster in the 1960s he went to his first match at Gillingham Football Club.

He went on to serve in the RAF as a firefighter for seven years where he played football for the forces, and then left to do a bit of lorry driving before becoming a taxi driver (he wanted a flexible job to allow him to be a football referee).

When Malcolm finally arrived at Trinity Hall in the early 2000s it didn’t take him long to start coaching and playing.

“It gets emotional being asked to coach. You got the odd player who was already fantastic and the odd one who’d never kicked a ball in their life and who then turned out to be a diamond. Winning the Plate for the firs time was something else. And then winning the third division to then go on and win second and first, well that was special.

“It was an honour to be part of a bunch of people who enjoyed the fun of it and were determined enough to show they could hold their own. I used to say to them that football is fun but it is so much more fun when you are winning. They never let me down!”

As for memories of the College outside of football Malcom says he has too many to mention but one that made him laugh was when a vicar came into the Central Site Porters’ Lodge asking to use the loo.

“I thought it was odd because he used my name when he asked, but I was so concerned about letting a vicar in that I didn’t think about it too much.”

It was only after he left that Malcolm realised it was actor James Norton, star of Grantchester, who was in costume for filming nearby and who, as a Cambridge student, had visited the College many times to see friends.