A former Ashton schoolboy has signed a professional contract with Liverpool FC.
Daniel Atherton, 18, says he couldn’t describe how happy he was to pen the permanent deal with the current Premier League leaders.
“The hard work starts now to earn the next one,” he said.
Atherton is a goalkeeper who has been with Liverpool’s academy since he was 12.
He debuted for the Under-18s two-years-ago and is described by the Reds as “an excellent prospect with good reflexes”.
And staff at his former school, St Edmund Arrowsmith, are delighted to see his budding career flourish.
Headteacher Mark Dumican said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see him do so well.
“Daniel is a really nice lad. He came here from year seven and left halfway through year 10 to join Liverpool’s academy, at Rainhill. But he’s kept in touch and been back into school, and in fact at the end of year 11 he came along to the school prom.
“It’s been nice to follow the early stages of his career – last year he was featured in the Liverpool-United programme because two weeks earlier he had saved a penalty in a youth fixture – and we wish him all the best.”
St Edmund Arrowsmith have had several sporting success stories over the years, and in the autumn had two ex-pupils – Wigan’s Oliver Gildart and St Helens prop Luke Thompson – in the England side which beat New Zealand in a three-Test series.
Another of their former pupils, Warriors flyer Joe Burgess, has also previously represented the national side.
All three played in the same school side together, and in fact Burgess and Thompson were in the same form.
“We’ve been in touch with all three and hopefully we can get them back in school in the new year,” added Dumican.
“It’s great to see them all go on to become England internationals.”