A local family are raising money to send their son to China to play in an international football tournament later this year.

16-year-old Leyton Nethercot is set to fly off to Shanghai in July to take part in an annual under-17s knockout competition against teams from around the world. He is one of just 20 from across the country to represent Britain.

Leyton, from Carlton, said: “I had very mixed emotions when I heard the news I was selected. I was over the moon and it will be a great experience.

Leyton attends Eastwood PSUSA Academy and it was his coach that put him forward for trials at Virtual Learning UK (VLUK), the company who invited Leyton to take part in China.

He added: “It’s always been a dream of mine to be a professional footballer.

Leyton, along with the 19 other selected players, is due to start training together next month at Stevenage Football club in preparation for the summer tournament.

Previous players from past years have gone on to become professional footballers.

The young midfielder has tried to find work to help contribute towards his once in a lifetime trip but has so far found it difficult.

From a family of nine, it has been hard to raise money for him to travel this summer but his family have been fundraising ever since they found out the news. They have so far raised nearly £230 of their £1000 target.

Hannah Bass, Leyton’s brother’s partner, is organising the fundraising.

The 26-year-old said: “I have never done anything like this before but I wanted to get involved.

“We have been putting on events at the Fox and Hound pub in Carlton, such as karaoke nights and raffles.

“The community are getting right behind us but we need to raise more awareness of what a great opportunity this is for Leyton.

The tournament starts on 6 July 2017 and lasts for ten days depending on how well the team do.

The competition is part of China’s growing presence in world football.

For more information on how to donate for Leyton to reach his goal, please contact Hannah Bass on 07772 328465 or email leospanner@hotmail.com