England's Jordan Pickford success down to competitive and 'fiery personality' says former PE teacher

Jordan Pickford is ready to thrive for England
The Washington-born goalkeeper continues to show why he is England's 'number one'. Credit: PA

Jordan Pickford's competitive and "fiery personality" are traits that have made the England goalkeeper a success, his former PE teacher believes.

Alan Fisher, who taught at Washington's St Robert of Newminster Catholic School, told ITV Tyne Tees that everyone close to his former pupil could see that there was something special about him.

"You're looking at children who have fiery personalities, who want to win at all costs - Jordan was definitely one of those," he said.

"I do remember him getting to the front of the dinner queue, that was one of his competitions he had.

"That was his way - he wanted to win and no matter what he did in terms of sport at school or outside school, that's followed him through to his professional career now."

The player has played a pivotal role in helping England advance to the semi-finals of Euro 2024 - holding his own during an intense penalty shoot-out against Switzerland at the last knock-out stage.

Pickford saves a penalty from Switzerland's Manuel Akanji. Credit: PA

Watching the penalties, Mr Fisher said: "You're kind of living every shot, wanting him to save it. You're on edge, and you want him to do well.

"When he does save one, you give that cheer and roar."

And while Pickford is one of the most recognisable English goalkeepers - it was not always the position he played in.

As a student at St Robert of Newminster Catholic School, Pickford was rarely between the posts, but "out on field".

Echoing what many people no doubt cross the region have felt towards Pickford, Mr Fisher said he was proud to have his former pupil on the world stage.

"It's like anyone from the North East, seeing a Washy lad playing for England is absolutely phenomenal," he continued.

"Him continuing to be England's number one has definitely set the North East alight."

'Goalkeepers have got to have a different type of mentality - Jordan Pickford

Pickford came through ranks at Sunderland Academy before joining Premier League club Everton in 2017.

He made his debut for England in the same year, in a friendly against Germany.

Gareth Southgate's men prepare to fight for their spot in the Euro 2024 final. Their semi-final showdown against the Netherlands takes place in Dortmund at 8pm.

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