'It's Kalvin Phillips country' - Leeds United and England midfielder providing inspiration for Wortley Juniors

Wortley is one step away from being rebranded Kalvin Phillips country such is the impact of the Leeds United midfielder.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:45 am
Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Pic: Getty
Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Pic: Getty

Phillips - who was born, bred and raised in the area - is providing a source of huge inspiration for his local community this summer thanks to his exploits with England.

Former club Wortley Juniors have never been so inundated with requests nor have they been so full of pride at his key role in helping Gareth Southgate's Three Lions into the final four of the Euros.

No matter the heights reached in his career or the fame gathered, Phillips has never forgotten his roots and his roots have never forgotten him. He is the poster boy of success as one of their own.

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"It's been so inspiring for everyone at Wortley," Ian Thackray, Phillips’ former coach, told the YEP.

"The little guys and gals are really lapping it up. They're mad for him. The fact that they're watching him on TV for England then might be able to meet him soon is causing so much excitement.

"As we said the other week in another interview, this isn't Wortley anymore. It's Kalvin Phillips country.

"I've just never known anything like it. We have never had exposure like this. The interest the club has had in the last few months is incredible.

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips' career stats.

"We've never had as many junior teams and we've had to put a late application in for an open age women's team too. A large part of that is because people recognise Wortley Juniors and want to have that association with Kalvin."

The local hero will be back in action tonight for England against Denmark at Wembley in a bid to reach the final of the European Championships. Though in the eyes of those at Wortley he has already done far more than they ever dreamed.

Messages of good luck flood in before every Three Lions game but they are swiftly replaced by the kicking, heading and passing of every ball from the other side of a television screen.

"He's done everyone proud no matter what," Ian added.

"We would always wish him well no matter who he was playing for as long as it wasn't Manchester United - but they can't afford him can they!

"We wish them all good luck no matter which one of them plays for England whether it's Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson or Kalv. Let's just go do it. I can remember watching the 1966 World Cup final and it's been miserable since.

"That's all we can say. He doesn't need luck - he's winning it. He's bringing it home."