A senior teacher at Malpas’s Bishop Heber High School has told of his delight at seeing former pupil Ben Woodburn score on his senior Wales debut.
The Liverpool striker, who spent Year 7 at the school between 2011 and 2012, netted the winning goal against Austria in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier in Cardiff.
Mark Lindley, head of Physical Education at the school, has followed Woodburn’s development and was proud to see the striker – who is still only 17 – score.
“It’s a fantastic achievement – it’s unbelievable really and must be a dream come true for Ben,” he said. “It’s great to see the progress he’s made from an 11-year-old through to playing for Liverpool. I’ve watched him all the way though.
“I even watched him in pre-season this year when Liverpool played at Tranmere Rovers and I could see all the hard work he’s put in has paid off.
“I don’t think any of this will faze Ben – he’s so level-headed.
“You could put him in any position and we would rise to the challenge, he’s that motivated.
“I came into watch the second half – I’ve stayed in touch with his parents and his brother is at Chester, so I watch him too.
“I thought there might be a possibility that he would do something when he came on. It makes you proud to have anything to do with him.”
Mr Lindley underlined the scale of Woodburn’s achievement after he made the headlines last season by becoming the latest of Liverpool’s striking products.
He added: “It’s amazing to come on for your debut with Liverpool and become their youngster scorer and then come on for your Wales debut and become their second youngest scorer.
“It’s the start of a long career for Ben and possibly be a regular for Liverpool.”
Woodburn was born in England but qualifies for Wales through his Swansea-born grandfather. He grew up in Tattenhall.
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