The footballing Fates

He was a contemporary of Raheem Sterling. Then he got injured. Now he’s at Cambridge. The story of a player whose career was over at the age of 16:

[U]nable to play football, he decided to concentrate on his studies. He is the first kid from his school to make it to Cambridge. They have a big picture of him up in the entrance. In his admissions interview he told us about his footballing ambitions and how they had ended – he had to explain his poor GCSE results – and then he told us about Kant’s categorical imperative. That doesn’t happen every day.

I asked him how he felt about the coming tournament. He was pretty cool about it and also a little bit upset. He is very unlucky and also very lucky. If his injuries had come a year later he would have been out of education with no obvious way back in… Almost all the players who came up with him through the academy system didn’t make it; almost no one does. Most of them only found out after it was too late to commit to anything else. A few are scrabbling around in the lower leagues, still hoping to get spotted and move on to better things.

[HT: Richard Williams]

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