Port Vale’s Nathan Smith goes back to school to launch national football competition

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Port Vale star Nathan Smith has returned to his old school to launch National Schools’ Football Week.

The centre-back visited Madeley High School to help promote the benefits of sport in schools.

The 21-year-old presented a kit shirt to the school that he attended until 2012, and the shirt will now hang in the reception.

Talking about his time at the school, Nathan, said: “I learnt a lot coming through this school.

“It made me determined and better at what I did.

“It made me focused and helped me through my younger years.”

National Schools’ Football Week is running in conjunction with the English Schools’ FA PlayStation Schools’ Cup.

Up to 2,000 school teams from around the country will be playing against each other.

At the launch, students got the chance to meet and talk to the star.

After meeting Smith, 13-year-old Madeley High pupil Tino said: “I’ve learnt that hard work pays off.

“Nathan worked hard at school on his education and now he plays for Port Vale.”

Smith gave some advice to the students.

He said: “Never give up.

“If you get knocked down always keep going.

“Make sure that you make sacrifices that will affect you in the most positive way possible.”

Vale legend John Rudge also attended the event alongside Smith.

Andrea Chilton, CEO of the English Schools FA, said: “National Schools’ Football week marks our continued achievements with PlayStation to give boys and girls the chance to experience the pride of representing their school in a professionally run competition.

“It also supports our responsibility to help nurture respect within the game.

“We have no doubt that this is a campaign schools will enjoy supporting in large numbers, which will ultimately encourage more teams and more children to get involved in competitive football.”

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