Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to London

JADON SANCHO was only six months old when England played their final game at the old Wembley in October 2000.

It was a World Cup qualifier against Germany, the country now home to a teenage Sancho.

Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to LondonReuters6 Jadon Sancho returns to London this week when Dortmund face Tottenham in the Champions League

And where the English whizkid, 18, has just become the youngest player to score eight Bundesliga goals.

Borussia Dortmund’s poster boy returns to his home city tomorrow to face Tottenham at the new Wembley — in a Champions League match for which Sancho has had to locate 30 tickets for friends and family.

Yet while he belongs to the FIFA generation — having got to know his Dortmund team-mates via Xbox — Sancho is clearly in check with real life and appears to be growing into a sensible and impressive character.

His message about his remarkable season was clear: “It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to work for this.”

Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to LondonAFP6 The 18-year-old is from Kennington in south London
Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to LondonGetty6 The starlet will have at least 30 family and friends cheering him on at Wembley

As he spoke about life in Germany and his hopes for the future, Sancho revealed his plans to return home to speak to youngsters at his former schools to reinforce that message.

To tell them about the importance of staying out of trouble and focusing on studying.

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Sancho comes from Kennington in south London and witnessed some unsavoury things growing up.

Aged 12, he became a boarder at Watford FC’s partner school, The Harefield Academy, but is proud of his roots.

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Asked whether he could be a role model both on and off the pitch, he said: “For sure. My friends back there have brothers and sisters in Kennington and they always ask me, ‘Can I have a shirt for my little brother or my cousin?’ and I always send them.

“I will never forget where I have come from because I know what it is like growing up in that area and it is not nice, especially when you have people around you doing bad things.

“For the kids that are in south London, I hope I can give a positive message. Don’t do those bad things.

“You don’t have to be footballers. You could focus on your school work. Education is the most important thing and a lot of kids in south London get distracted from education. I am lucky enough I had the opportunity to go to Harefield at the time.

“I didn’t really want to go to that boarding school. I wanted to stay at home and travel. But the people around me told me what was best and I listened to them — and I am happy that I am here today, where I am.

Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to LondonGetty Images6 Sancho was just six months old when England played their final game at the old Wembley in 2000
Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to LondonGetty6 Sancho is the youngest player to have scored at eight Bundesliga goals
Jadon Sancho aiming to help other kids keep clear of bad people as he returns to LondonGetty Images6 Sancho has revealed his intention to visit kids at his old schools

“So, I am looking to do some interviews in schools where I can help south London kids just like me.

“I was where they are once upon a time and I just want to give them a good message, and I think that would be nice for them to hear.

“I am trying to go back to my old schools first and hopefully, if things progress, I can go to other schools and just give that message and give things out that would be nice for the school, like footballs.”

Pushed to explain those “bad things”, he added: “I don’t really want to go into detail, but it is just about having the wrong people around you.

“Things can escalate very quickly and it wasn’t right, so I had to get out of there and focus on what I loved.”

He will try and tackle this with his message to Kennington schoolkids.

Sancho explained: “It is just about doing the wrong things. Like being out late. Just stay at home.”

For an 18-year-old to come out with this sort of stuff is pretty impressive.  And the fact that Dortmund allowed Sancho to speak so openly ahead of such a big game is also refreshing.

It is something many Premier League clubs could learn from.

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