A STUDENT is basking in England glory after starring in front of TV cameras and scoring two goals for his country.
Callum Cooke, a pupil at St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, in Peterlee, grabbed a brace for the England under-16 side on his debut.
And now the 15-year-old midfielder hopes to make it through the Middlesbrough football academy, become a professional footballer and turn out for the full national team.
The youngster made his first appearance in an England shirt at Stangmore Park, in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, after spending eight years at Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe Park-based academy.
Callum’s dad, Gerard, who lives in Willerby Grove, Peterlee, travelled across the Irish Sea to watch him play, and said he was “proud and ecstatic” when his son ran on to the field.
“It is a dream come true for any dad to watch his son play for England,” he added.
“Then Callum scored after only being on the field for a short time and it was amazing to watch for myself and his mum.
“He lives and breathes football and is really committed to Middlesbrough.
“And even though we are massive Sunderland fans, he knows where his future lies.
“I know the England set-up try to rotate the squads but he is still buzzing with the performance and obviously his goals.
“He got to keep his shirt and that is his prized possession.
“I just hope he keeps going and we see him in the shirt more.”
Callum, who leaves the school next year, fired in goals after 47 and 58 minutes.
And they were also celebrated by assistant headteacher Paul Dickson as he watched his student live on Sky Sports.
Mr Dickson said: “St Bede’s School prides itself on making sure we support all students to make the most of their gifts and talents.
“The school works in partnership with Callum’s academy to make sure that he keeps on track with his studies, while maximizing his development as a very gifted footballer.
“Everybody in the school watched the match on Sky and were talking about his amazing goals.
“That outward positive support for Callum is a further testament of the close-knit community spirit at the school.
“Callum’s achievement is a brilliant role model to younger students.
“He did his family and the school proud.”
England under-16s’ next game is on November 1 away to Wales, and Callum is hoping he has done enough to keep his place in the side.