Young England star back at Hartlepool school to present special gift

Harry Chapman, centre, with a number of Dyke House footballers and vice principal Adam Palmer, head of college Andrew Murphy and the director of the Elite Development Squad Danny Evans.

Harry Chapman, centre, with a number of Dyke House footballers and vice principal Adam Palmer, head of college Andrew Murphy and the director of the Elite Development Squad Danny Evans.

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A young England footballer has returned to his old Hartlepool school to hand over the first Three Lions shirt he earned.

Harry Chapman, the Middlesbrough FC footballer currently on loan at Sheffield United, visited Dyke House Sports and Technology College to help inspire pupils to follow in his footsteps.

The 18-year-old, from Seaton Carew, was keen to present his former school with the England shirt he wore while playing for the national Under-19s side against Switzerland in March, when he helped secure a 1-0 win.

Harry said: “I wanted to give something back to the school for helping me achieve something in education. They helped me stick in.

“I really enjoyed my time at Dyke House. They put the time and effort in to help me improve academically and I passed all of my GCSEs before I left with the help of the amazing staff.

“Since I left I have played football professionally, which is what I dreamed of, playing football regularly for a living.”

Hopefully the students who see that England shirt will see anything is possible if you work hard enough

Vice principal Adam Palmer

Harry was the first student enrolled on Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad sport scholarship programme which helps promising students achieve their potential.

Head of college Andrew Murphy said: “We are really proud of Harry. Hopefully he will inspire other students from Dyke House.

“Despite signing a long term contract as a youngster he placed great value on education and worked hard to achieve his GCSE results.”

Vice principal Adam Palmer who led an assembly in front of the full school, added: “It is a fantastic gesture for Harry to hand over his first England shirt and it will take pride of place inside our College.

“Hopefully the students who see that England shirt will see anything is possible if you work hard enough.”