Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Hartlepool footballer Harry Chapman 90 minutes from World Cup glory
Harry Chapman is just 90 minutes from World Cup glory.
The teenage Middlesbrough sensation, from Hartlepool, was in the England squad who have reached the Under 20 World Cup final in South Korea.
Chapman was an unused sub as the Young Lions came from a goal down to beat Italy 3-1 in the semi-final.
Riccardo Orsolini put Italy in front inside two minutes before England’s dominance eventually paid off as two goals from Liverpool-bound striker Dominic Solanke and an Ademola Lookman strike in the final 25 minutes secured their place in Sunday’s final against Venezuala.
It is England’s first World Cup final in 51 years since Alf Ramsey’s side became world champions in 1966.
And Chapman, who helped Sheffield United to the League One title last season during a season-long loan with the Blades, has the chance to bring home a gold medal.
One man who knows the brilliant forward as well as anyone is Andrew Murphy, head of college at Dyke House Sports & Technology College, where Chapman studied from the age of 11 to 16.
He was also Harry’s coach for the Hartlepool Schools football team.
“We’re incredibly proud,” said Andrew. “We’re very pleased for him.
“He is such a gifted talent but with it he’s a level-headed individual who has always kept his feet on the ground.
“He has the right temperament and work ethic.
“Harry has not changed a bit – for all his success he remains a humble boy.
“He played in the town team I coached from 11 to 16 and even when he was at Boro he still played for the Hartlepool side.”
Murphy says there will be no sulking in the corner from the teenager, even though he has not left the bench in the knock-out stages.
“He’s not that type of kid at all,” added Andrew.
“Knowing Harry’s mentality, it will make him work even harder on the training pitch to try to take part in the final.
“He has great hunger and a desire to better himself – all the time.
“Even if he does not feature in the final he will be working hard to play in the first game next season.
“A match against San Marino would be just as important to him.
“I know he will be doing all he can between now and the final to play.”