DCSIMG

My topless backflip on the stage

Famous Friend: Right, Sally aged 14 with Liberty X Star Jessica Taylor, then 13 at a school Christingle service at St Marys Church. Above, Sally is now carving out a successful career in PR in London

Famous Friend: Right, Sally aged 14 with Liberty X Star Jessica Taylor, then 13 at a school Christingle service at St Marys Church. Above, Sally is now carving out a successful career in PR in London

At the age of 14, Sally Henfield unwittingly upstaged a school friend who would go on to be a chart-topping TV star.

It was during Penwortham Priory High School’s production of Grease when the unexpected drama unfolded.

Sally, now 33, was a waitress in the hair salon scene, with Jessica Taylor, who became part of Liberty X after starring on Popstars, taking the lead as Frenchie.

Sally’s main responsibility was to backflip across the stage into the arms of a waiter.

She said: “I was wearing a dress with a sweetheart neckline, and as I back-flipped, I experienced a wardrobe 
malfunction.

“I fell out in front of everyone, it was so embarrassing!”

Jessica, now married to England cricket star Kevin Pietersen, was in the year below Sally, and although they were not close friends, Sally said: “we did hang around together a bit, and she was always very into performing then”.

Longton girl Sally admits that she was a “swot” during her time at Priory from 1990 to 1995.

She said: “One day in the fourth or fifth year, me and my friends were hanging around outside the science labs and we didn’t hear the bell go for our next lesson.

“When we turned up at our lesson late, our teacher didn’t believe that we hadn’t heard the bell and sent us to the deputy to explain ourselves.

“We were known to be such swots that he turned round to the teacher and said, ‘Of course Sally wouldn’t have been skiving’.” Sally, who is now working in PR in London, went on to study at Runshaw College and Newcastle 
University before working as a secondary school teacher and also as a journalist.

She said that she particularly liked history lessons at Priory because teacher Mr Fenwick was “a bit of a silver fox”, and because he made the subject interesting. She also liked English with Mr Hunter, who made pupils do “Wally jumps” in the school quadrangle if they got an answer wrong, and science with Mr Rodman, who threw acid on the floor to show it explode at people’s feet.

At school lunchtimes Sally would often take her own packed lunch.

She said: “We all used to swap butties with each other, and I don’t think my mum knew about that.

“As I got older, I made my own, with my mum saying I could keep the dinner money if I did.

“Occasionally I’d get a school dinner, and I’d always have a chip barm.

“I think my mum would have gone spare if she’d have known that was all I was having.”

The school uniform for girls was a bright blue jumper, a grey skirt, a white blouse and a striped black tie.

Sally added: “I liked the uniform, it showed who I belonged to, and in the fifth year they let us wear a black jumper to differentiate us and I felt like I’d achieved something!”

 

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