“I’ve always wanted to play for Sunderland. The club have been good to me and it’s time to pay them back now.”
Those were the heart felt words of Black Cats stopper Jordan Pickford as he reflected on his affiliation with his local area.
A Washington-born lad, Pickford’s rise to prominence has caught the Premier League by storm.
Little over a year after making his maiden top-flight bow in a testing away fixture at Tottenham Hotspur, the Wearside graduate has taken to the pressure cooker that is one of the best leagues in the world like a duck to water.
But while being in the spotlight of the world’s most watched league brings a certain fame and stardom, the recently turned 23-year-old hasn’t forgotten the roots that carved him into the man he has become.
“It is good but I always remember areas of Washington I used to go and play football,” he smiled.
“I used to go and play five-a-side with my mates and we’d play anywhere – literally anywhere we could!
“There are just so many good memories for me around Washington when I used to have a kick about with my mates.
“It is a dream come true to play for Sunderland and when I think about where I come from and what I’m currently doing it makes me proud,” he continued.“I have so many great memories of growing up in Washington and hopefully I can do the region proud.”