Michael Ledger returned to Consett AFC football ground on Tuesday 14th July 2015 as Captain of Sunderland’s youth team. He was playing at the annual pre season friendly football match organised to raise funds for local teams. Michael who attended Lanchester AEP school played for the school football team from the age of eight but he had also been playing local football for Blackfyne Juniors from the aged six.
At the age of seven he was spotted by scouts. They gave him trials at Sunderland football club’s development centre. His talent resulted in him being accepted as a member when he was eight. This gave him the opportunity to play football with other juniors during half time at Sunderland’s home matches. His family were obviously delighted and committed themselves to supporting him both financially, physically and emotionally. Their commitment is obvious today, all those years later.
Ian and Julie Ledger – his parents – ran a milk business in Leadgate for over 18 years along with Michael’s uncle, David. Later Ian went to work for a local firm Elddis and two years ago was able to open his own business Ledger’s Caravan and Motor Home Solutions. However the family’s main aim has been to support Michael in his desire to play professional football. The whole family and many of his friends and supporters were at the match in July to cheer on both Michael and the Sunderland team as well as Consett. It was a great match with a fantastic friendly atomesphere and the final score was 3 – 1.
Michael feels very fortunate that he has been given the opportunity to follow his dream and said that he was extremely grateful for the support given to him by his parents Ian and Julie, his brothers Christopher and Jack, also both sets of grandparents and his extended family and friends. Michael at the age of sixteen signed up for a scholarship as a full time apprentice with Sunderland and he is now Captain of the youth team, having just recently been given a two year professional deal at the age of eighteen. He is proud of his heritage, his family and his home town. And I can assure you they are very proud of him.