HE’S been involved in World Cup squads and Champions League and FA Cup finals.
But yesterday, Wes Brown went back to school to help pupils prepare for what was the biggest game of their fledgling careers.
The Sunderland centre-back was a VIP visitor to The Academy at Shotton Hall, where the school’s under 15s side was hosting rivals from Greater Manchester in the quarter-finals of the national PlayStation Schools’ Cup, which is backed by the English Schools Football Association.
The Peterlee school and their opponents, Cardinal Langley RC High School, in Middleton, had made it down to the last eight from 120 teams that had originally entered the prestigious competition.
Wes, formerly of Manchester United, helped both teams warm up before their game, which was won 5-2 by the visitors.
The former England international also took part in a question and answer session with the students and signed autographs and posed for pictures with young fans.
Year 10 pupil Ewan Holberg, who was part of the Academy side, said: “Even though we didn’t win, I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the PlayStation Schools Cup – it has been a great experience and one I won’t forget.
“It was also a really great opportunity getting to meet Wes today and getting to warm up with him before the match.”
PE teacher Paul Vaudry added: “We have entered the ESFA PlayStation Schools Cup for many years now which has been a great opportunity for our students to broaden their football skills and meet new people.
“Having PlayStation recognise our involvement and commitment to the tournament by playing the quarter final at our school has been a wonderful privilege and it has been great getting something back for the children, especially the chance to meet a hugely successful Premier League footballer.”
As well as the game, Playstation coaches were also on hand to supervise skills sessions with pupils from the school.
Year 8 student Meghan Dixon added: “I really enjoyed the coaching session, we all learned lots of new skills and regardless of our different abilities the coaches made everyone feel that they could take part and made us all feel confident.
“Having Wes Brown in school for the afternoon was very cool!”