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Penalty heroics seal PL Schools Tournament win

24 May 2017
Premier League Schools Tournament 2017

St Cuthbert's Primary hold their nerve to triumph for Manchester City at Stamford Bridge

Scoring the decisive penalty at the home of the Premier League champions to win your school a national competition is something that dreams are made of.

But for St Cuthbert's RC Primary School player Liam, that became reality on Tuesday afternoon as he slotted in the winning spot-kick at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge to win the Under-11 mixed competition at the 12th running of the Premier League Schools Tournament.

St Cuthbert's, representing Manchester City's City in the Community, reached the final after winning their group on goal difference and beating Manchester United's Tyntesfield Primary School on penalties in the semi-final.

And with the final against Crystal Palace's Avenue Primary Academy ending 0-0, St Cuthbert's had to hold their nerve in another shoot-out to claim the trophy.

"The final was really nerve-wracking because every time they came forward at us we thought they were going to score but we stayed strong," Liam said.

See: PL Schools Tournament gallery

"I don't really score penalties and as I came forward I was just thinking I don't want to miss it for my team. The goalkeeper was looking one way so I hit it the other way into the bottom left.

"Scoring meant everything because I did it for my team. It feels amazing to play where players like Eden Hazard have been playing, I will remember this for a long time."

Premier League Schools Tournament 2017
The St Cuthbert's team run to celebrate with their parents after the winning penalty is scored

The PL Schools Tournament gives players from 40 schools the experience of being a Premier League footballer as players wear their club's kit, visit the home dressing room and walk out of the tunnel while cameras from BBC Match of the Day Kickabout filmed the action.

Over the last few months, each of the 20 Premier League clubs held regional tournaments to discover who will represent them in Under-11 mixed and Under-13 girls’ competitions at Stamford Bridge.

More than 11,000 players and over 1,400 schools have taken part this year.

Premier League Schools Tournament 2017
St Cuthbert's lift the U11 Premier League Schools Tournament trophy

"To play football today at Stamford Bridge, it's dreams-come-true stuff," said St Cuthbert's teacher Dennis Moran. "Irrespective of whether they won or not, the day itself, the time they spent together, they will never forget as long as they live.

"By winning the Manchester City tournament, they had won. To travel down together on the coach, to be in the hotel with their families, to have a meal together,  the whole occasion has been out of this world.

"I am thrilled and I am so proud. To have this type of success and praise and everything that goes with it will do wonderful things for them."

Highlights from the 2017 PL Schools Tournanment will be shown on BBC MOTD Kickabout on Saturday, 3 June.

Premier League Schools Tournament Roll of Honour 
  Stadium U11 winners U13 winners
2017 Stamford Bridge St Cuthbert's RC Primary (Man City) Chesterfield High School (Liverpool)
2016 Goodison Park YGG Castell Nedd (Swansea) St Bedes (Sunderland)
2015 White Hart Lane Plantation (Liverpool) Stoke Newington (Arsenal)
2014 Etihad Stadium Plantation (Liverpool) All Saints High (Everton)
2013 Anfield Corpus Christi (Fulham) Congleton High (Stoke)
2012 Emirates Corpus Christi (Fulham) St Peter's (Wigan Ath)
2011 Macron Farnborough Road (Liverpool) Broughton Hall (Everton)
2010 Ewood Park Oakthorpe (Spurs) South Hunsley (Hull)
2009 Old Trafford Dorridge Junior (Aston Villa) Durham Johnston (Newcastle)
2008 Madjeski Stadium Ipsley Middle (Aston Villa) Broughton Hall (Everton)
2007 Old Trafford St Jude's (Portsmouth) St Joseph's (Bolton)
2006 The Valley Gomer Junior (Portsmouth) N/A

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