The great-great-grandson of Ripley footballing legend Alf Strange is hoping to follow in his footsteps after being picked for League One side Notts County’s under-9s team.
Eight-year-old Adam Clark, of Charmwood Drive, has already played for youth academy teams at Notts County, Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Burton Albion.
The talented youngster has been kicking a football around since he was three and was spotted by a Derby County scout while playing for West Hallam Junior Rams. Mum Victoria said: “We’re really really proud of him. He used to score some brilliant goals but more often than not they were in the wrong net! We had to point him in the right direction! I have never known a little boy who wants to be a footballer as much as he does.”
Adam, who turned eight in December, also received interest from Stoke and Manchester United before signing a year’s contract for the under 9s last week. Victoria added: “He never tells anybody at school - he just takes it all in his stride. Literally hundreds of boys come and go through the academy but he works so hard. He plays or trains six a week.”
The Magpies’ football development manager Philip Barnes said: “Adam is a tough-tackling, no-nonsense full back. He has a fantastic left foot and a great attitude. He has been a pleasure to coach. He’s a good enough player to do well and continue for the forseeable future that’s for sure. He is one of our star catches.”
The hall at Ripley Leisure Centre in the town was named the ‘Alfred Strange Sports Hall’ in honour of Adam’s great-great-grandfather - the former Sheffield Wednesday and England footballer who was born in nearby Marehay. Alf scored 63 goals in 382 appearances for four clubs and was capped 20 times for England and also captained his country during a playing career which spanned 1922 to 1936.
Victoria said: “Hopefully Adam’s got the genes!”