Made in Kilmarnock

Grange Academy pupil Billy Gilmour, 15, will be swopping school life for the bright lights of London next month after signing for Premier League title winners, Chelsea.

Billy, who is from Ardrossan, has been with Grange Academy’s School of Football Performance team since first year and has successfully balanced school work and football training from a very young age.

Headteacher Robert Johnston said: “Billy is a model pupil and a credit to Grange Academy. He is always polite and very hardworking. On behalf of everyone at Grange Academy I would like to wish him every success in his future career.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council visited Billy at school to congratulate him on behalf of the Council. He said: “It was great to meet Billy who is a credit to Grange Academy and to the School of Football. He took time before his National 5 Biology exam to chat with me about his future plans and the youth set up at Chelsea.

“And I think that really sums him up. He has committed to 14hour days, to balancing school work and football training pursuing his dream of playing football professionally. It has taken maturity and a level head to cope with the media interest that has surrounded him and I genuinely wish him every success in the future.

“Billy isn’t the only pupil from Grange Academy’s School of Football, which is funded by the Scottish Football Association in partnership with the Council, to receive interest from large clubs. There are at least three boys from the same year group who are showing great promise and hope to pursue a professional career. I wish them all every success.”

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