England star Lampard praises Leeds teacher who convinced him to follow footballing dream

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ENGLAND, Chelsea and Manchester City football star Frank Lampard has singled out a Leeds school teacher for kick-starting his career in football.

Lampard praised Pudsey Fulneck Junior School headteacher Chris Bouckley in an article he wrote for the Times Educational Supplement.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

He said it was Mr Bouckley – then teaching at an Essex secondary school - who convinced him to follow his footballing dream.

Lampard wrote: “He helped me through a difficult time when I was deciding whether or not to leave school after my GCSEs and take up a football career,” adding: “What made him the best teacher was the personal touch, the encouragement along the way.

“When I talk about my teachers I struggle to remember too many names, but because of Mr Bouckley’s personal involvement over a period of time, he sticks with me.

“As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised Mr Bouckley is also a very nice bloke: he’s followed my career, and when I lost my mother he wrote a very compassionate letter. I never forget things like that.”

Mr Bouckley said: “This article came as a total surprise to me, but I’m absolutely thrilled by it.

“One of the most important roles of a teacher is to inspire their pupils to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

“With Frank it was easy. His talent on the football pitch shone from a very early age and it was obvious that, with a few words of encouragement, he would make a superb career out of the sport.

“I’m delighted he chose to pursue this route and the results speak for themselves. I wish him every luck in the States, and, I will, of course, continue to keenly follow his career.”

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