Mirfield schoolboy follows in his great-grandfather’s footsteps on the pitch

TOP TEAM: Thomas Marshall, back row, second from right, with the winning squad from Crossley Fields.
TOP TEAM: Thomas Marshall, back row, second from right, with the winning squad from Crossley Fields.
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A YOUNG footballer literally followed in his great-grandfather’s footsteps when his team won a cup final.

Crossley Fields pupil Thomas Marshall plays for his school in the Spen Valley Schools FA.

In his last game the 10-year-old winger scored an early goal against Crowlees School to help his team win the Denis Ward Memorial Trophy.

But his skills on the pitch won’t have come as a surprise to his family, because sporting skill runs in Thomas’ blood.

His great-grandfather, Frederick Crossley, played in the Spen Valley league as a schoolboy in 1921 – the year it was formed.

And now, more than 90 years later, Thomas is playing in the same league as his ancestor did.

His grandmother Pat Marshall said her father, Frederick, would have loved to see Thomas on the pitch.

“My father never actually saw Thomas play because he died before he was born, but he would have been over the moon,” she said.

Thomas has only been playing football for two seasons, but has been making a name for himself as a promising young sportsman, having represented Crossley Fields in cross country tournaments.

“I think he is competitive and he enjoys running about and being in the fresh air,” Mrs Marshall said.

“He was over the moon to win the trophy because last season they lost to Crowlees, although it was only a friendly.”

Thomas will leave his current school in Wellhouse Lane, Mirfield, this summer and hopes to continue playing football when he starts at Mirfield Free Grammar in September.

Mrs Marshall said Thomas hadn’t started dreaming of a place in the Premier League yet, and was happy enough playing for his school.

“I think at this point he is just doing it for fun. I don’t think he has thought about it professionally,” she said. “If we tell him how much money the footballers make he might change his mind!”