THERE was a brilliant interview with Old Elean Nick Pope in The Times on March 20th:

Before returning to school earlier this month, our Captain of Football and Head Boy, Ben Marshall, made contact with Nick to fire a few questions at him.

Ben said: “Very few schools are able to say that they have helped produce an England football team footballer, but King’s Ely can! Nick Pope, Burnley and England Goalkeeper, was voted Premier League Goalkeeper of the Season in 2019/20 and has been to a World Cup, yet still remembers the successes he enjoyed during his time at King’s.

“With football seasons postponed, it’s important to keep motivated and inspired, so a few words from someone who has been through King’s and made it to the top are especially meaningful. I have been able to ask Nick a few questions that hopefully will help inspire all those keen footballers currently counting down the days until matches can be played once again.”

Nick, what is your favourite memory of school football at King’s?

“My favourite memory of playing football at King’s would be winning the cup final vs Oundle. I think it was 2008, Sean Saxby scored the winner from 30 yards and we just about held on. Good pitch invasion at the final whistle!”

Who was your inspiration as a young footballer?

“My brother, who also went to King’s, was someone I looked up to as he was always a goalkeeper and I used to watch him play a lot. Also being an Ipswich Town season ticket holder, Richard Wright was the first goalie I remember watching and he was class.”

What advice would you give to young footballers with the seasons currently postponed?

“My advice for young footballers would be to stay active as much as you can – fresh air and exercise are things I would encourage for everyone, especially during lockdown. I would advise footballers to watch the football on the TV and try to learn from the best players in the world and try to replicate skills into their own game.”

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