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News > Giving back > Luke Wallace (MH 04-09) - The gift of an opportunity

Luke Wallace (MH 04-09) - The gift of an opportunity

Luke tells us what a Tonbridge education meant to him
17 Nov 2020
Giving back

Luke Wallace (MH 04-09) tells us what a Tonbridge education meant to him.

From my first visit to the school in early 2004, it was clear that being given the ability to attend Tonbridge with the assistance of a bursary was an unparalleled opportunity. One that I was certain to make the most of over my five years.

The benefits in terms of standard of education and facilities is clear to see, however in my opinion it was the range of opportunities, and the time given to pursue them, that sets the school apart. I can’t think of many places that would have allowed me to successfully chase a career in professional sport at the same time as achieving top A levels, as well as enabling me to contribute to other aspects of school life.

I have many great memories from my years at Tonbridge. Boarding especially introduced me to people who I would normally never have had the chance to spend time with and has resulted in lifelong friendships.

A school is of course nothing without its teachers and I count myself lucky that I had some great ones. My 1st XV coach, James Johnson, had a massive impact on me, continuously challenging me both on and off the pitch, and we still remain close. Similarly, my housemaster, Colin Swainson, was responsible for keeping me on the straight and narrow with my academic studies, and I’m sure it still disappoints him that I turned my back on applying to study medicine in order to chase a ball around a pitch. These two men instilled a work ethic and desire to succeed that has served me well throughout my time since I left Tonbridge and for that I have to be grateful.

I cannot understate the impact my five years there had on me, and I hope that growing the school’s bursary programme gives more pupils similar opportunities to succeed.

Luke is currently playing for the Leicester Tigers in Premiership Rugby.  We thank him for his continued support.

To read stories from Charles Burt (MH 67-70), Ivan Bilicki (Sc 01-03) and David Kemp (PS 42-47) see our Judde Society brochure.

Contact our Judde Society manager, Tara Biddle, at

Guidance on leaving a legacy gift to the Tonbridge School Foundation (Registered Charity 1099162) can be found here.


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