– TRENT ALEXAN­DER-ARNOLD’S MUM

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY JEREMY ARM­STRONG

TEENAGE Eng­land star Trent Alexan­der-Arnold was a GCSE stu­dent the last time he faced World Cup ri­vals Bel­gium, his proud mum re­vealed yes­ter­day.

Dianne Alexan­der, 51, said the Liver­pool player, 19, sat his ex­ams abroad “by re­mote” so he could line up for his coun­try’s un­der-16 team.

Now he has been called up to Gareth South­gate’s se­nior squad for the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia with fel­low young guns Mar­cus Rash­ford, 20, Dele Alli, 22, and Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek, also 22.

Dianne still can­not be­lieve her son is go­ing to the World Cup af­ter break­ing into his home­town club’s first team as a reg­u­lar this sea­son.

“It is sur­real,” she says. “Ev­ery lit­tle boy dreams of play­ing for Eng­land in that kit like Gary Lineker or Ste­vie Ger­rard. I was think­ing ‘Carry on son, that is never go­ing to hap­pen’. But now it has. I said to some­one to­day ‘It is al­most too good to be true’. I ’m w a i t i ng for some­one to knock on the door and say ‘Guess what, this is a big joke’. But it’s not. It’s a dream come true.”

The call- up marks a me­te­oric rise for her footiemad son, who still loves a kick­about in the gar­den with broth­ers Mar­cel, 16, and Tyler, 23… as long as he wins.

At just six years old, he got a lucky break at St Matthew’s Catholic Pri­mary School in West Derby to at­tend a Liver­pool FC train­ing camp.

“They sent a few in­vites to my school, and they were like, ‘ Who wants to go?’” Trent re­calls. “Ev­ery lad in the class put their hands up, so the only fair way was to pick names out of a hat. Luck­ily my name was picked out.”

Af­ter just 30 min­utes, a coach told Dianne to bring him for reg­u­lar ses­sions at the club. Trent has be­come a firm favourite this sea­son, and fans say his 66 squad num­ber could be a lucky omen for our World Cup bid. First, there is the lit­tle

Trent with Mar­cel and Tyler

mat­ter of Liver­pool’s Cham­pi­ons League Fi­nal clash against Real Madrid in Kiev, Ukraine, a week Satur­day. Think­ing about it makes Dianne smile.

“My son re­ally is the boy next door,” she says. “We keep his feet on the ground. My boy is play­ing against Ronaldo? Are you hav­ing a laugh?

“I still can­not be­lieve it. A friend told me, ‘Ste­vie Ger­rard has writ­ten about Trent in his book’ and I said, ‘no way’.

“But I went into Asda and checked the page and there he is, writ­ing about my boy. Now I have be­come ‘ Trent’s mum’ and I am recog­nised, and so are his dad and broth­ers.”

Trent was play­ing for Eng­land’s un­der-16s in Bel­gium – our big group ri­vals at the World Cup – when he had to sit two GCSEs.

“We had to speak to the school and the exam board, and he did GCSEs at the same time,” Dianne re­calls. “He sat

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