This week’s Bury Free Press and Newmarket Journal will carry an exclusive extended interview with homegrown Nick Pope, following his call-up to the senior England squad.
The former Bury Town goalkeeper and West Suffolk College student talks candidly about his rise to the top, from being rejected by boyhood club Ipswich Town to making his way up the semi-professional ladder and on to the Premier League with Burnley.
Pope — once a pupil at King’s Ely School — says of his release by Ipswich aged 16: “At the time it is a tough one to take and something that feels like the end of the world.
“It has helped turn me into the person and player I am today and in a way I am happy I went through it.
“You are only 16, you have not gone through loads and loads so it is probably the biggest disappointment of your life up until that point.
“It comes down to learning to rebuild yourself and going again.”
The 25-year-old also discusses life in non-league football and how he hopes his story will inspire others to not give up their dream of becoming a professional footballer.
For the full story see Thursday’s Journal and Friday’s Free Press print editions.