Alumni: James Norwood Named Player of the Season

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This week marked a milestone in the career of former Bede’s student, James Norwood (Dicker, 2004-2009) who has capped a brilliant season with Tranmere Rovers by being named Football League Two Player of the Season at an awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. 

James scored the winner last May at Wembley against Boreham Wood (having scored 24 goals during the season) to clinch promotion for Tranmere Rovers from the National League back into the Football League and so far this season has scored 27 goals.  As well as being named Player of the Season, James also took to the stage along with the rest of the team to receive the Football Manager League Two Team of the Season as well as the EFL Football Manager Team of the Season which awards the best 11 players across all three divisions. 

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Tranmere Rovers are currently fifth placed and four points off an automatic promotion and James’s tally of 27 goals – seven ahead of his nearest challenger – is all the more impressive given that this is his first season playing in the Football League.   

Commenting on his incredible achievement, James told us, “I’m delighted to win the award but every credit must also go to the rest of the team who all work so hard to produce those chances for me to score.”

Richard Mills who coached James in his first couple of years at the Senior School said, “As a young footballer, James seemed destined for great things.  Even at U14 level he had pace, strength and a real eye for goal but what really stood him apart was his determination to keep improving.”

David Leggett, Bede’s Director of Football during James’s time at Bede’s, reflected on his final years representing the School saying “James first broke into the Bede’s 1st XI in his Upper Fifth and quickly became a regular and focal part of a young but promising side that went on to achieve much over the next few years.  Over the three years that James played in the side, he was free-scoring, hard-working and difficult for opposing defenders to handle.”

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He went on to recall, “James always had the dream of playing football professionally and this was never more evident than in his desire to spend as much time as possible on the training field at Bede’s and representing them at any opportunity.  Much of James’s game today mirrors how he played for the School between 2007-2009; he was hard-working, fast, strong and someone who had a keen eye for goal-scoring.”

In 2009, James scored close to 40 goals in a season to help Bede’s become crowned national football champions.  He also went on to represent England school boys, scoring against France at Wembley, as well as ISFA in 2008 and 2009. 

These achievements helped James secure a contract with league one side Exeter City and following spells at Forest Green, James settled at Tranmere Rovers.

David Leggett summed up by saying, “All who worked with James are extremely proud of his achievements and his professional progress.  We look forward to seeing him continue this rich vein of form through next season and beyond.”  


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