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Former Boro fan favourite launches new scholarship at Teesside University to support talented footballers

09 August 2022

 

A Boro fan favourite has teamed up with Teesside University to support the future careers of talented footballers.

Former Middlesbrough Football Club player George Friend
Former Middlesbrough Football Club player George Friend

A new scholarship has been created by former Middlesbrough Football Club player George Friend and Teesside University to help talented students develop their footballing skills during their studies through the Football Performance Pathway.

Applications are now open for the George Friend Scholarship - with three places available for new students. Each successful applicant will receive a £1,000 scholarship to support their studies.

To be eligible, students must demonstrate athletic ability and high potential in football, and successfully secure a place on the Football Performance Pathway programme at the University for autumn 2022.

The Football Performance Pathway programme enables students to get high-quality football training alongside their degree, providing an opportunity to study a preferred discipline which may not be sport-related, while continuing to train and play at a high level in football.

Football Performance Pathway students are able to develop both their footballing and academic skills, while obtaining the knowledge and qualifications necessary to strengthen their success.

Now with Birmingham City, George started his career at Exeter City before moving on to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Doncaster Rovers and then Middlesbrough in 2012, where he was hugely popular among fans, before moving on in 2020.

During his time at Boro, George was named player of the season and was a mainstay in the side that won promotion to the Premier League in the 2015/16 season.

George was also popular off the pitch too through his charity work and engagement with the local community. He remains a regular visitor back to the region and has kept his links with Teesside University, having previously helped to launch a sports marketing degree and officially opening the new gym facilities.

George said: “I am extremely proud to be working with Teesside University to offer this scholarship. It provides a brilliant opportunity for students to develop their footballing skills through the Football Performance Pathway while completing their degree.

It’s great that we have a progressive University that can provide the perfect platform.

George Friend

“Students can study in their preferred discipline, while continuing to pursue their sporting goals by training and playing at a high level in football.

“In time, I believe some candidates could be awarded playing contracts from professional clubs as a result of this programme.”

He added: “Ultimately, whether it’s in football or not, I would love to see graduates finish the programme with the confidence to take on a significant role in their chosen industry.

“Teesside is a special region with a great passion for football built on hard work within its community. It’s great that we have a progressive University that can provide the perfect platform.”

Lauren Bradshaw, Deputy Director in Communications and Development at Teesside University, said: “George is a fantastic ambassador for our region and has achieved incredible success and recognition during his career – both on and off the pitch.

“We are delighted to add the George Friend Scholarship to our expanding portfolio and believe it will provide much needed support for students to follow in George’s footsteps and excel both academically and through their football.”

The George Friend Scholarship sits alongside Teesside University’s other exciting new scholarship opportunities developed for the next academic year, including the Kellas Midstream Scholarship, the Franc Roddam Scholarship in film and television, the Paul Rodgers Scholarship for aspiring musicians and the Beth Mead Scholarship for female footballers.

They help form the Teesside Transformation Fund – a flagship initiative that breaks down barriers and empowers people to access Higher Education and reach their full potential.

With millions of pounds already invested by the University each year, the ambition is to grow this fund with further support from alumni, foundations and corporate partners.


In the News

By George, young footballers can find path to success
Hartlepool Mail, p.67, Print, 25/08/2022
Former Middlesbrough star George Friend has teamed up with Teesside University to suppoer the future careers of talented footballers.


Former Boro player launches scholarship
Evening Gazette, p.6, Print and Web, 10/08/2022
Applications are now open for the George Friend Scholarship.


Former Boro fan favourite launches new scholarship at Teesside University to support talented footballers
Coastal View and Moor News, p.45, Web, 02/08/2022
A Boro fan favourite has teamed up with Teesside University to support the future careers of talented footballers.