South Shields footballer lands 'once in a lifetime' scholarship to play in America - but needs your help
A keen footballer from South Shields has gained a place on a scholarship to play football in the US – but now the eager 19-year-old needs to raise funds to attend.
Luke Thomas, who has ‘always loved football’, has been offered his dream four year partial scholarship to play football in Kansas, USA.
After attending the Sunderland Academy of Light on a scholarship for the past three years, the aspiring footballer travelled to Manchester in 2020 to take part in trials.
In April 2021, he finally received the news that he had made it down to the last 25 candidates and was invited to London to take part in a match.
Luke is now due to start his NJCAA scholarship in America this August.
But grandmother Eileen Thomas says the family need to raise funds of up to £10,000 in order for Luke to live his dream.
She said: “We are all so proud of Luke and this is all he’s ever wanted, he has worked so hard over the years and he’s never given up – I don’t want him to miss out on opportunities so I have been fundraising to help him achieve his dream.
"With this being partial scholarship, it means he needs to find a substantial amount of money to keep him in food and accommodation while he is there. He went straight into his scholarship with Sunderland AFC from school so hasn't had the chance to build any savings.”
Eileen hopes to raise the funds through her GoFund me page and through charitable donations from companies.
She added: “All he does is training and he has put all him time and effort into football, I can’t see him fall at the final hurdle.
"He’s such a nice lad and very well thought of and being from the North East these chances don't come along very often – it would really mean the world to him to be able to start this new chapter in his life so I really hope people will get behind this and help support him."
For more information on how you can support Luke please visit this link.