A YOUNG footballer from Skipton has just celebrated finishing the first year of his apprenticeship with Football League team Bradford City.

Seventeen-year-old Thomas Windle has featured regularly in the youth and reserve sides for the League One team in the season which has just ended.

The former Water Street Primary School and Settle High School - now Settle College - pupil has been with the club since the age of 11, when a scout spotted him playing for Skipton LMS in the annual Silsden six-a-side football tournament.

He also played for the Bradford Schoolboys team and was part of the side that triumphed in the national under 15’s schools competition in 2013. The final was held at the ground of current Premier League champions Leicester City’s and Bradford's boys won 3-0.

Tom's father Lee Windle said that he, his wife Sarah and daughter Felicity, 12, were very proud of his achievements, especially as the world of professional football is highly competitive and very difficult to break into.

He said: "Very few boys will get to experience football at this level. Whatever happens in the future, I believe it’s been a fantastic experience and opportunity for him.

"As well as the football side of things it also teaches other very valuable life skills. None of us, including Tom, are under any illusions that it is very tough to break through, but we're very proud that he's doing so well.

"We have already had some priceless experiences and memories - for Tom, of course, but also for us as parents."

Tom is all set to start the second year of his two-year apprenticeship, and will continue training with his fellow City apprentices at the club's Apperley Bridge grounds.