Young footballers at Upton Juniors have won praise for their skills, energy and enthusiasm from a top street football star after their primary schools competition victory.
The team’s Consolation Cup win over St Saviour’s School at Margate FC’s Hartsdown Park stadium was watched by former Upton pupil Jack Downer who is now a high profile star of Panna street football.
Jack said: “It was a highly contested exciting game. I was very impressed with all of the Upton players, they all worked very hard and had great technical ability.
“I played my first ever football match for Upton 15 years ago, and although the team was good then, I think this team would have beaten mine.”
In the final Upton led 1-0 at half time. Mid-way through the second half St Saviour’s equalised and the final five minutes of the game saw both teams pushing for the winner. With the seconds ticking away Upton snatched a last-gasp winner to claim the trophy.
Upton Sport Lead Callum Noble said: “The final was played in terrific spirit by both teams and huge praise goes to all the players for delivering a real feast of football.
“It was a great boost for our team to have an established soccer player watching and supporting – and Team Upton certainly impressed with their performance.
“Our children were really excited that Jack was watching from the touchline and they all had pictures taken with him and the trophy afterwards.”
Jack, who has been Superball World Champion and London Panna Champion, shares a variety of soccer challenges and tutorials on his You Tube channel. During his career, he has played against French World Cup winner Paul Pogba and he’s been on the same team as legends David Beckham and Frank Lampard.
Upton head of School Darci Arthur said: “Sport plays a large part in our school curriculum for all age groups and abilities, and our children are great ambassadors for us when they perform in local, regional and national competitions as well.
“Our footballers demonstrated a real unity in this match and won through with a never-say-die spirit. It was inspiring for them to see how well a former Upton pupil has done in his chosen sport worldwide.”