·3-min readSingapore's Harry Birtwistle represents Wolverhampton Wanderers U-18s during their U18 Premier League match against Leeds United. (PHOTO: Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)SINGAPORE — Seventeen-year-old Harry Birtwistle became the first Singapore-born footballer to sign for a top-flight English club on Wednesday (27 October), when he penned his first professional contract with English Premier League (EPL) side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The right wing-back was born in Singapore on 1 December 2003 to an English father and a Singaporean mother. He was first spotted playing by the Wolves academy staff when he was eight years old, as part of a Wolves international training camp in Singapore.
At age 13, he moved from the city-state to pursue his dreams of playing Premier League football."I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey," Birtwistle said in an official club statement following his signing ceremony on Wednesday. headtopics.com
"The last four years I have been at Wolves has been life changing. Yes, there have been challenging times, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was the hardest decision but the best decision I had ever made.“Becoming a professional footballer was always my dream and it was what got me through some tough moments. The goal and drive to achieve my dreams have always been there and is something that will never change.
“I’m so honoured to be standing here today as a Singaporean-born professional footballer at a Premier League club."Despite his young age, Birtwistle has broken into Wolves' U-23 side and made an impressive start in the current season, scoring a couple of goals and catching the eye of the coaching staff.
He has also started training with the first team, alongside the likes of Raul Jimenez, Joao Moutinho and Adama Traore.While Birtwistle is the first Singapore-born footballer to sign for an EPL club – he still holds a Singapore passport – Ben Davis was the first Singaporean to do so in 2018, when he
penned for Fulham, which has since been relegated to The Championship.Davis, now 20, was born in Phuket to a Thai mother and English father, and moved to Singapore at age five. He became a citizen four years later, and later represented the Republic at the Under-16 and Under-19 levels. headtopics.com
Story continuesIn 2018, while training with Fulham in London, his application for national service (NS) deferment was rejected by the Ministry of Defence. In February 2019, after Davis failed to report for NS, he wasdeclared a defaulter.He is now listed as a Thai footballer, having played for the kingdom's national U-23 team in the 2020 Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championship. In August this year, he left Fulham to sign a two-year deal with Oxford United, who play in League One, the third-highest tier in English football.
Birtwistle, whose own NS status is currently under review, now lives with a host family in Wightwick, a neighbourhood in the outskirts of Wolverhampton. In an interview with The Athletic earlier this month, he said he has not seen his Singapore-based mother in two years.
"It’s tough. But being a footballer is what I want to do, so I have to sacrifice some things to achieve my dream," he told the sports website.Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel atTRENDING Read more: Yahoo Singapore »
Goodbye, 5BX: Army’s new strength-training exercises look to halve soldier injuries, improve form
SINGAPORE — A new set of stretching and strengthening exercises aimed at reducing injuries among soldiers will replace the longstanding
Wolves Singapore-born has become 2nd class citizen in own Singapore PAPSingapore gov have once said we are all mostly descendent of migrant Ku-Li (Labors) thus genetically inferior. So give us spare change! Now they bring all the ku-li. leehsienloong TanChengBock wpsg Wolves First Singapore-born player in EPL, yes. He’s not the first to play in the English top flight though - that’ll be Terry Butcher.
S$1.2b nickel trading scam: Trio charged with conspiring to offer businessman chance to flee SingaporeSINGAPORE — Three men were charged on Tuesday (Oct 26) with trying to help a businessman, who is alleged to be behind one of Singapore’s largest financial fraud cases, to flee the country.
Singapore Zoo welcomes endangered Grevy’s zebra foalSINGAPORE — Singapore Zoo has welcomed its first Grevy’s zebra foal, a female called Izara, a name of African origin meaning “star”.
Singapore Zoo welcomes endangered Grevy’s zebra foalWATCH: Hello there, little one! 🦓⭐ Singapore Zoo has welcomed its first Grevy’s zebra foal, a female called Izara, a name of African origin meaning “star”. Find out more:
UPDATE 1-Sunseap explores solar farms in Indonesia to power SingaporeCompanies led by Singapore's Sunseap Group signed a memorandum of understanding to develop solar power systems in the neighbouring Riau islands of Indonesia to provide electricity.
Singapore's manufacturing output contracts for the first time in almost a yearSINGAPORE: Singapore\u0027s manufacturing output declined for the first time in almost a year in September, largely due to the pharmaceuticals segment, official data on Tuesday (Oct 26) showed. Factory output fell 3.4 per cent year-on-year in September, after growing a revised 11 per cent in
Signs of first planet found outside our galaxyThe possible Saturn-sized planet discovered by Nasa's Chandra X-Ray Telescope is in the Messier 51 galaxy, located some 28 million light-years away from the Milky Way.