Football: England debut dream for Sir William Robertson Academy pupil

Morgan with headteacher Mark Guest (left) and head of PE Kerry Symmons EMN-170530-105725002
Morgan with headteacher Mark Guest (left) and head of PE Kerry Symmons EMN-170530-105725002

Exciting young footballer Morgan Whittaker exploded onto the international scene with a hat-trick on only his second start for England Under 16s.

The 16-year-old became the first-ever Sir William Robertson Academy pupil to play international football when selected for the England youth squad for the Montaigu Tournament in France.

Morgan, from Normanton-on-Cliffe, made his debut as a substitute in the tournament opener, a 1-1 draw with Mexico, and then started in the 3-0 defeat to Portugal.

The forward retained his place for the final game against China and rewarded the selectors’ faith with a dream hat-trick in a 4-0 win, with one of the strikes voted the team’s goal of the season.

Head of PE at Sir William Robertson, Kerry Symmons, said: “What has been just as impressive has been the humility Morgan has shown since coming back to school.

“Many people are not even aware of his achievements as he hasn’t boasted about it.

“The whole school is extremely proud of Morgan and we wish him well for future international appearances and a long career in the game.”

The teenager, who is currently taking his GCSEs, is part of Derby County’s academy and will be hoping to cement a scholarship with the Championship club.

Justin Walker, Derby’s professional development phase coach, headed out to France to watch Morgan.

“It is a good level to be playing at and Morgan really has done himself proud,” he said.

“What was more important for me was that he looked physically and mentally capable at that level.

“I think when players go away with their country, sometimes it can feel restricted in terms of what their natural attributes are.

“With Morgan scoring a hat-trick, that’s proof he’s playing his natural game.”

He also helped Sir William Robertson’s Year 11 football team to the Lincolnshire County Cup final this season.

The team were recognised for the achievements at a special assembly where team coach Dave Costello, along with fellow PE teacher David Quincey and Mr Symmons presented members of the squad with a team photo.

Morgan’s number 20 England shirt has also been framed and will be hung in the school.