Moorland trio snapped up by Blackburn Rovers

From left, Joe Grayson, Alex Curran and Stefan Mols, with coach Charlie Jackson (front)
From left, Joe Grayson, Alex Curran and Stefan Mols, with coach Charlie Jackson (front)

The son of Preston North End manager Simon Grayson is proving a chip off the old block after joining his dad’s former club Blackburn Rovers.

Fifteen year-old sharp-shooter Joe, who attends Moorland School, has signed on the dotted line at Ewood Park, while school pals Alex Curran and Stefan Mols have also been offered two-year scholarships.

Grayson junior said: “When Blackburn said they would like to offer me a scholarship I couldn’t believe it – it makes me incredibly proud.”

Last season, Clitheroe-based Moorland carried off the National Independent Schools’ Football Association Under-16 Shield and completed a double winning campaign by beating local rivals St Bede’s, Blackburn, in the final of the Lancashire Cup.

Curran, who scored two goals in the nationwide final, said: “As a life-long Blackburn Rovers fan, I’m over the moon.

“Moorland, and especially the coach Charlie Jackson have been a massive help.”

Moorland, under Jackson’s watchful eye, have forged a reputation for nurturing young talent, with Manchester United centre-forward John Cofie joining Burnley before his switch to Old Trafford in 2007.

Another ex-Moorland lad, Niall Mason, who left the school in 2013, is creating a big noise with Premier League Southampton, as one of their rising stars in the Saints Academy.

Jackson, Head of Football Development at Moorland, said: “To have three boys from one year group win scholarships at a Championship club is a major achievement, not least for the boys themselves – they should be incredibly proud of themselves.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to play a part in the boys success, and hopefully this will be their next step in their development and towards their dream of becoming professional footballers.”

Proud Moorland Headteacher Jonathan Harrison said: “Moorland School is incredibly proud of their achievements.

“The boys have done so well – it is a huge achievement for them.”

Grayson’s father Simon made 35 appearances for Blackburn Rovers, and is now plotting Preston’s promotion bid in League One after guiding the Deepdale club to an FA Cup glamour tie against Manchester United last month.