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  1. ITV Report

Milton Keynes schoolchildren 'inspired' by Dele Alli's rise from 'polite pupil' to World Cup superstar

Dele Alli has come a long way since making his MK Dons debut back in 2012. Credit: PA

England's journey to the World Cup semi-finals has captured the imagination of the whole country - not least in Milton Keynes where children are dreaming of becoming the next Dele Alli.

The 22-year-old grew up in Milton Keynes and attended the Radcliffe School.

During his time at the school, he emerged as a star in the MK Dons academy and eventually earned a big-money move to Tottenham after impressing in League One.

However, his exploits at this summer's World Cup in Russia, including scoring the decisive second goal in the Three Lions' 2-0 quarter-final triumph over Sweden, have seen his stock rise even further.

Pupils at his school have followed his career with great interest, and many are now starting to believe that they can one day follow in his footsteps.

Andy White, the head of PE at the Radcliffe School, used to teach Alli and says he always knew he was a special talent.

"When he was here, he was really calm, mild-mannered, very polite. You knew there was something special about him when he touched the ball. I remember him not moving for probably 80 minutes of a game, but you knew that two touches, and he'd score two superb goals and we'd win the game. He was a very talented boy."

Dele Alli's remarkable rise to the top

Alli's form for MK Dons earned him a move to Tottenham. Credit: PA
  • November 2012 - Makes his MK Dons debut as a 16-year-old in an FA Cup tie against Cambridge City
  • November 2012 - Scores his first senior goal in the replay at Stadium MK
  • February 2015 - Makes a £5 million move to Tottenham Hotspur and is loaned back to MK Dons for the rest of the season
  • April 2015 - Named Football League Young Player of the Year
  • May 2015 - Celebrates helping the Dons achieve promotion to The Championship
  • August 2015 - Scores his first Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at eventual champions Leicester City
  • October 2015 - Makes his England senior debut off the bench in a 2-0 victory over Estonia at Wembley
  • November 2015 - Makes his first England start and scores his first goal as the Three Lions beat France 2-0
  • July 2018 - Scores the second goal of the game as England beat Sweden 2-0 to reach the World Cup semi-finals