England footballer grew up and went to school in Ealing
Bukayo Saka, and his former PE teacher Mark Harvey at Greenford High School. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images/Josh Mellor/LDRS
July 14, 2021
Bukayo Saka has been nominated for Freedom of the Borough by Ealing Council, where he grew up.
The England forward, whose penalty was saved in the European Championship final against Italy on Sunday evening, attended Greenford High School until only recently.
The 19-year-old Arsenal player has now been nominated for Freedom of the Borough by council leader Peter Mason.
Mr Mason says Saka would be the youngest ever recipient of the Freedom of the Borough.
Saka, teammates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were subjected to racist abuse on social media after all three missed penalties and brought England’s championship dream to an end.
Greenford High School has welcomed Saka’s nomination online and commented on how proud they are of his success.
The school posted on Twitter today: “Our Greenford High School character strengths are Courage, Community, Responsibility, Compassion and Resilience. Bukayo Saka embodies them all – as has the whole @England team and Greenford community following Sunday’s final.”
It added: “Bukayo led Greenford High School to borough champions in Year 8 – only six years ago!
Commenting on the nomination, Councillor Mason said, “Just a few short years ago, Bukayo Saka was playing football on the Brentside Playing Fields and on the pitches at Greenford High.
“Everyone in Ealing shares an incredible sense of pride that one of our own represented England at Wembley on Sunday. His is a remarkable story of talent and achievement that everyone can take hope, inspiration and encouragement from.
“Neither he nor any of the England squad should be subjected to the intolerant, racist abuse as they have been in the last 48 hours. We don’t boo our heroes. We honour them.
“I’m delighted therefore to nominate him to be the youngest ever recipient of the Freedom of the Borough. I hope this will send a clear message that Saka is Ealing’s own, that we are proud of him, and that is one of our heroes.
“The entire England team has been an inspiration, both on and off the pitch, and shown our country how to pull together, not apart, even under the most unimaginable pressure. Saka and his teammates have embodied Ealing’s motto: ‘Progress with Unity’.
“We thank all the squad and the team around them, and look forward to seeing them in action in the run-up to the World Cup next year”
On Sunday the school commented: “So, so proud of @BukayoSaka87 and the @England team.
“This will not define you Bukayo, you have brought this tournament to life. See you for the World Cup next year.”