It might have surprised a few people that Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez was selected in the England Under 21 squad for last week’s friendly in Italy.
However, to many people at Barrowford Celtic, it was less of a shock as Jay spent his formative years with the club.
The 21-year-old (pictured back right with Celtic) made his Under 21 debut in Empoli as a second half substitute, having netted six goals so far this season for the Clarets.
He joined Barrowford Celtic aged eight, and Celtic recommended Jay to Burnley, who, after being invited for a trial, was taken into the Centre of Excellence in 2001, where he remained until becoming an apprentice in 2005.
He was promoted to the senior squad in the summer of 2007 - the only player given a professional contract by Steve Cotterill from the youth team players available at that time.
He was always quick at Barrowford Celtic, but was only small.
It is difficult to believe that this once slight player is now 6’1” and has filled out considerably!
He still has a connection with Barrowford Celtic, where he has presented trophies at their Presentation Evening, and was also on hand to switch on the club’s new floodlights at their ground on Bull Holme.
Chairman Bob Flounders said: “Jay has always been a level-headed lad, and it came as no surprise to me that he has done as well as he has.
“He is still a very quiet, unassuming person, who has not let fame go to his head.
“He is the second player from Barrowford Celtic to play for England after Mick Phelan, and everyone connected with the club wish him well in the future.”