Teenage Sunderland star Bali Mumba is celebrating his achievements off the field after passing nine GCSEs.
The club have announce that the 16-year-old, from South Shields, was unable to collect his results in person however, as he is currently in London with Jack Ross’ side, preparing for the weekend’s clash with AFC Wimbledon.
Sir Ken Gibson, executive head teacher at Bali’s school, Harton Academy, in South Shields, is also the Lead Educational Advisor for the Premier League.
Speaking about the midfielder’s results today, Sir Ken said: “Bali is a delightful boy.
"Here at Harton Academy, we are very proud of him, not just for his football prowess but the ability he has demonstrated to effectively balance his education with his football commitments.
“As part of my role with the Premier League I ensure that clubs are giving the young people in their care every chance to achieve their educational potential.
"I work closely with Don Peattie and his staff at Sunderland AFC – they are a very dedicated team, who have the best interests of the boys at heart.
“Despite the obvious distractions, Bali has kept his feet on the ground, worked hard and has reaped the rewards – congratulations to him from all of us.”
Sunderland AFC’s head of education and welfare Don Peattie said: “We are delighted for Bali and naturally very proud of his achievements.
“In our Academy, education and football go hand in hand and both are of equal importance.
"To have been able to combine his studies with the rigours of his football career, has shown dedication and determination from Bali and I am pleased to say it has paid off with the results he has achieved.
“Our thanks go to Sir Ken and the staff at Harton Academy, who have worked with Bali over the last five years and have been a tremendous support to him and the club.
"We very much appreciate all they have done.”
Manager Jack Ross said: “When you see Bali on a football pitch it’s easy to forget how young he is.
"I know from our Academy staff that he has worked hard to ensure that he keeps up his studies alongside his football, which is testament to his character.”
Alongside his involvement in the first-team, Bali will continue his education for a further two years as part of his scholarship programme with Sunderland AFC.