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FORMER England footballer Stuart Pearce taught teenagers to always look on the bright side of life.
The current England under-21 and Team GB football manager visited students at Bishop Ramsey School, in Hume Way, Ruislip, and gave them an inspiring talk about overcoming his demons on and off the pitch.
The young people were kicked into action by Pearce, whose rise to glory was not a smooth one.
Having always wanted to be a footballer, he failed a trial at QPR, was turned down by the police force and the Army and eventually went to work in a warehouse.
He continued to play football for his local non-league side Wealdstone, but his life changed when Coventry City made an unexpected offer for him.
Senior librarian at Bishop Ramsey, Elaine Neal, said: “He stressed to the students how important it is to learn from mistakes and don’t take yourself too seriously.
“He told the students that he learned more from losing than winning.”
The football manager said the best moment of his career was playing as England captain, citing his inspirations as Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, player Ryan Giggs, former Olympic Decathlon champion Daley Thompson and boxer Ricky Hatton.
Speaking about his transition from player, to coach, to manager, Pearce said: “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time when I retired from playing football.”
PE teacher Bill Butler, on behalf of the school, was given an England shirt which had been worn by Aston Villa striker Darren Bent and signed by Stuart Pearce.