Young Port Vale professional Ryan Campbell-Gordon has been been named in “The 11” by League Football Education (LFE), which honours 11 young footballers for their achievements on and off the pitch.
The accolade acknowledges the football and academic progress of under-18 players on apprenticeships at current or former Football League clubs.
It is also designed to assess other factors, such as involvement in community or charity-based initiatives.
Youth teamer of the year Campbell-Gordon signed a professional contract with the Valiants in May with the club noting “Ryan has overcome a lot of challenges to secure this two-year contract.”
The left-back features in the June 11 list with the website noting:
Ryan found education at high school challenging and was out of school for at least six months until the Ormiston Horizon Academy in Chell accepted him and provided both pastoral and academic support, entering him for GCSEs in Year 11.
Since becoming an apprentice, his academic record has gone from strength to strength, passing his Functional Skills in a short time and passing the BTEC course, while his footballing performance has led to him winning Port Vale’s Youth Team Player of the Year award.
Head of Education Chris Taylor told LFE: “In completing his education, Ryan has gained the equivalent of two A-Levels, which is a remarkable achievement considering the difficulties he had previously encountered.
“Ryan met with some challenging situations in the local community and was greatly helped by a mentoring meeting with Jeff Whitley from Sporting Chance.
“He has fully deserved the opportunity of being awarded a two-year professional contract. His story is an excellent example in football of someone facing various challenges and succeeding by hard work both on and off the pitch.”