College soccer star's USA goal

A talented Wigan footballer has returned to the town after spending a successful spell with a top US university team.

Tim Lees, from Harvey Lane, Golborne, found the back of the net seven times in nine games for Mount St Mary's in Maryland.

Tim, 22, said: "Playing in front of thousands of fans at stadiums across the east coast was amazing.

"I never expected my time over there to be quite like it was.

"We trained twice a day everyday in humid conditions which was tough, but enjoyable."

But it wasn't all plain sailing for Tim, who was also studying a sports scholarship while playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college soccer league.

"I was basically living in the middle of nowhere," said Tim.

"I was living in a house on my own which was next to a freeway.

"When you are in that kind of situation, and are constantly having to drive for hours to get to matches across Washington and New York every few days, it can all get on top of you."

Tim is currently studying for a degree in sports psychology at Bolton University and plays for both their football team and as a cental midfielder for the Northern Universities first 11. The ball juggling expert, who met the likes of Ronaldinho and David Beckham while representing Great Britain on Channel 4's Pepsi Max World Challenge, will be working the catwalk this May on a national freestyle tour for fashion experts Tigi.

Tim said: "I'll be walking to the end of the catwalk and then working through a routine of flicks and control skills.

"The tour gets under way on May 9 in Glasgow.

"I haven't finalised my routine just yet but I'm hard at work perfecting it."

While playing for Woodley Sports FC in the Unibond League, Tim's talent on the ball was spotted by legendary football scout George Smith, best known for his work at Leeds United.

George will be travelling to Northern Ireland with Tim in July where he will be trying to convince Premier League side Glenavon FC to sign him.

Tim said: "All things going well this could be a big step in my career."