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The Robert Napier School

Officially the best left back in the land: Former RNS student Ryan Bertrand.

Former Robert Napier student and professional footballer Ryan Bertrand is now a regular part of the England squad. Ryan has enjoyed an excellent season in the Premiership with Southampton and will be looking to add to his Champions’ League medal he earned with Chelsea when he competes in the Europa League next season.

When the England football team celebrated a year of being undefeated this month, there was an added significance for Robert Napier. Part of the starting eleven that day, and a member of a defence that kept a clean sheet, was former RNS student Ryan Bertrand.

It is no surprise that Ryan has been part of the national team set up on the back of his Southampton form. He has helped guide The Saints into Europe for the first time in decades and has been recognised by his fellow professionals as the Premiership’s best left back as he was voted onto the PFA team of the year – ahead of the likes of Luke Shaw, Leighton Baines, Gael Clichy and Kieran Gibbs.

While at Robert Napier, Ryan played regularly for the school team. Ryan’s talents had not gone unnoticed in our local community. The young footballer was soon snapped up by Gillingham FC. He clearly made an impact in the youth set up at Priestfield as Jose Mourinho decided to take him to Chelsea in 2006.

The Voice was proud to report in 2012 that Ryan found himself starting and winning against German giants Bayern Munich in the Champions’ League final. No other Englishman has laid their hands on the trophy since Ryan did that day.  He has also picked up a medal a week earlier as Chelsea triumphed in the FA Cup against Liverpool.

Later that summer, Ryan was the first choice left back for Team GB and made history as Great Britain fielded a football team for the first time since 1908 at the London 2012 games. Team GB made it to the quarter finals before being eliminated by Korea.

Ryan has shown that he is willing to work hard for his place in the football elite. He made over 100 appearances in lower divisions while out on loan before his Chelsea debut as he learned his trade.

Similarly, he represented England at five different levels before making his first senior appearance in a 2-1 win over Italy in 2012.

The school is very proud to have produced an athlete of Ryan’s calibre and many of the PE staff that contributed to Ryan’s learning are still at RNS today.

Who will become the next major sports star to emerge from RNS?

It could be you.