Jack Harrison: from Manchester United to Leeds via a Massachusetts boarding school

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Leeds United’s first goal back in the Premier League came from Jack Harrison, whose back story is not one of your usual English youngster…

Leeds lost at the weekend while conceding four goals, so it’s understandable that you might think too much praise of their performance against Liverpool is a tad misplaced.

But it was the nature of their performance that was praiseworthy, going toe-to-toe with the defending champions and only losing because of a penalty.

It also affords us the opportunity to discuss the remarkable tale of Jack Harrison, scorer of Leeds’s first goal, which Matt Davies-Adams did on The Totally Football Show this week.

“The story of his route into football is really remarkable,” said Matt.

“He’s from Bolton, raised in a single-parent family by his mum. He was at Manchester United from when he was eight but she didn’t feel like he was getting the kind of attention he ought to have done, and the idea was that they had this big group of kids and if one gets through then that’s fine.

“She didn’t think that would work for him, so she did a lot of research and found there was a private boarding school in Massachusetts which she thought would be good for him because they had a good coach. They got a full scholarship there after allaying the school’s fear about his physique and stamina – she provided a medical report about his bone density, which indicated he would fill out quite nicely as an adult.

“He goes through that, gets into the collegiate system, he gets drafted by Chicago Fire but they trade him to New York City, whose parent club is Manchester City, they spotted something in him and took him back to Manchester.

“He’s now in his third season on loan at Leeds and scored on his Premier League debut away at Liverpool. It’s a pretty incredible story.”

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