Eurovision: Pupils at Sam Ryder's old school root for Essex star inspiring them to 'dream big'

ITV News Anglia visits Sam Ryder's old school in Chelmsford, where pupils and teachers are inspired by the 'Space Man' singer's success.

The former teacher of UK Eurovision contender Sam Ryder asys she's "really proud of him" as staff and pupils at his old school root for him to win tonight.

The 32-year-old singer, from Maldon in Essex, will represent the UK during the grand final in Turin, Italy on Saturday, with his uplifting pop song 'Space Man.'

Ryder attending St John Payne Catholic school in Chelmsford, finishing in the class of 2007.

Pupils at the school described his song as "catchy" and consider the Eurovision star an "inspiration."

"They dream big about what they can achieve," one pupil told ITV News Anglia.

Sam's former teacher even has one of his old CD's

His former teacher says she will be backing him all the way.

Jemma Coleman dug out an old CD showcasing his now trademark falsetto vocals, from when he used to play in a band as a teenager.

"One of my colleagues found this CD from his band The Morning After," she said.

"We used to organise talent shows at school and this was from Sam's original band.

"It was brilliant, we just enjoyed watching him... he was just a really good showman from the start and we're just really proud of him for everything he's gone on to achieve."

A blonde ale has been created to support Sam.

At Sam's home town in Maldon, his local pub The Carpenters Arms is also getting behind him.

They have planned a special Eurovision night and created a "blonde ale" in his honour.

John Walpole, Landlord at The Carpenters Arms said: "We will be to the rafters, we're expecting a full house, we're making sure we have enough ale, everything ready to go.

"We're expecting a good couple of days."

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