Job U-turn for Wembley coach heralded for launching career of Liverpool player Raheem Sterling who faced redundancy

Raheem Sterling with Paul Lawrence

Raheem Sterling with Paul Lawrence - Credit: Archant

A school football coach who faced redundancy after launching the careers of numerous top players including England star Raheem Sterling has been told his job is now safe.

Copland Community School is in Wembley

Copland Community School is in Wembley - Credit: Archant

Paul Lawrence, who has taught at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, since 1993, was due to leave at Christmas as part of a swathe of job losses across non-teaching positions.

The 53-year-old, who grew up in Kilburn, is heralded for his success in moulding students at the school into sporting stars.

In addition to 19-year-old Liverpool ace Raheem, Mr Lawrence’s prodigies also include Kerrea Gilbert (Arsenal, Shamrock Rovers), Teejay Duncan (Luton Town), Kameron English (Watford), Tyrell Miller-Rodney (Brentford), Reece Mitchell (Chelsea under-21s, England under-18s), Dean Sylvester (Chelsea, QPR, Harrow) and Andrew Whorms (Barnet).

However, the day before he was due to leave he was told his role was being saved after his bosses listened to parents, staff and the wider community.

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He told the Times: “I am happy the school listened to what people said.

“So many people were appalled by the decision. Raheem even called me to say he couldn’t believe they were letting me go.

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“I must thank the Brent & Kilburn Times for bring this to people’s attentions and everyone out there who have supported me including my union.

“I faced a miserable Christmas and a bleak New Year but now I can concentrate on teaching football.”

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