Sam nets footy deal

Hillingdon Times: Hitting the big time: Sam Hurrell shows off the fancy footwork that earned him his contract with Chelsea Hitting the big time: Sam Hurrell shows off the fancy footwork that earned him his contract with Chelsea

A CHELSEA fan from Ickenham has netted a professional contract with the Premiership Champions after winning Sky One's Football Icon show.

Sam Hurrell, 17, from Ickenham, proved his talent in the programme that followed Chelsea FC as they engaged in the biggest football talent search ever undertaken in Britain.

On Sunday, Chelsea chose the delighted 17- year-old as the winner of the greatest prize ever offered on television a professional contract with the Premiership Champions.

Sam said: "I can't believe I have won, I am so happy. To sign for Chelsea is a dream come true. Football Icon has been an amazing experience. John Terry has shown you can break into the first team from the academy. Now I must work hard to develop my game. With the first class coaches and players here, I'll have every opportunity to succeed."

Football Icon aimed to discover new talent and unearth those who may have slipped through the net. In the summer more than 5,000 young players attended open trials in the hope they would become the next Football Icon.

Sky One followed the hopefuls at the regional trials through the selection weekend, where a shortlist of just 12 were invited to Chelsea's Academy.

Each week the trainees were put through their paces until only three remained Sam Hurrell, Mark Gradosielski and Idemudia Okojie.

In the final footballing showdown, aired on Sky One on Sunday, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and his academy staff finally chose the winner of Football Icon and presented left-back Sam with a professional contract with Chelsea FC. Sam had never been to trials or played for a professional club before taking part in Football Icon.

The talented youngster was studying for his A-levels and living at home with his parents, Pauline and Dave, and younger brother Josh. Now huge Chelsea fan Sam will be playing for the team all his family support. Chelsea FC's Academy has produced this year's PFA Player of the Year, John Terry, Carlton Cole and Robert Huth, while other players at Chelsea such as Football Writers' Player of the Year Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, and Glen Johnson have graduated through the academy system at other English clubs. Now Sam Hurrell will be aiming to follow in their footsteps.

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