Rochdale's Youngest Ever Player Achieves Top GCSE Grades Less Than A Year After Pro Debut
16-year old Rochdale boywonder Luke Matheson has had a quite incredible school year - kicked off with a debut in the Rochdale first-team in September and finished with stellar GCSE results in August.
On his very first day of Year 11, aged 15 years and 336 days, Matheson became the club's youngest ever player when he played in the 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win over Bury in September.
He was a substitute 13 minutes into the game but was so impressive that he went on to win the club's Man of the Match award even though he was nowhere near old enough to drink the mandatory bottle of champagne.
Manager Keith Hill described his performance as "outstanding" and you could probably use the same word when talking about his GCSE results.
The Trinity C of E High School pupil got 10 GCSEs in total, including: a grade 8 in GCSE PE, a 9 in history, 8s in Chemistry, Physics and R.E, 7s in English Language, Maths and Biology, a 6 in Spanish and a 5 in English literature.
Reflecting on what an amazing year he's had on and off the pitch, he told the Manchester Evening News: "Everything has happened so fast. I am so lucky. You do have to have some sort of skill but it just takes dedication.
"I have made a lot of sacrifices. I've stayed at home instead of going out with friends so I can do some extra training.
"It's been 100 per cent worth it and Rochdale have been amazing. Without Rochdale, I would be nothing. I've got them to thank for everything."
Matheson, who now has nine appearances for Dale under his belt, wants to continue to improve but will also study for his A-Levels at sixth form alongside his budding football career.
"This next year I'll just keep playing football and moving in the right direction," he added.
"I still want to get my A levels just in case.
Yes I have done well for someone so young but you should always have a back up plan."
Featured Image Credit: Rochdale AFC