- Title: Gareth Bale a role model for kids around the world says his former teacher
- Date: 2nd June 2017
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (MAY 30, 2017) (REUTERS) GARETH BALE (HAIR TIED UP) WITH CRISTIANO RONALDO DURING TRAINING CARDIFF, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 2, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF REAL MADRID FORWARD GARETH BALE'S FORMER SCHOOL, WHITCHURCH HIGH SCHOOL SCHOOL SIGN SCHOOL ENTRANCE / TROPHY CABINET/ TROPHIES IN CABINET VARIOUS OF HEAD OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AT WHITCHURCH HIGH SCHOOL AND BALE'S FORMER TEACHER GWYN MORRIS WALKING DOWN CORRIDER FILLED WITH PICTURES OF STUDENTS WHO HAVE PLAYED SPORT INTERNATIONALLY AND STOPPING AND LOOKING AT BALE'S PICTURE (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AT WHITCHURCH HIGH SCHOOL AND BALE'S FORMER TEACHER, GWYN MORRIS, SAYING: "He was a young man who had his feet firmly on the ground, who knew what he wanted to achieve and how you were going to work hard to get there. It is that dedication, sacrifice, commitment that you need to be a top class sportsman and he had that. Obviously it is coming to fruition now." MORRIS LOOKING AT PICTURES ON WALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AT WHITCHURCH HIGH SCHOOL AND BALE'S FORMER TEACHER, GWYN MORRIS, SAYING: "We had 13, 14 internationals in that year group in various sports. I am certain that they pushed each other because when you have aspirations to play at the top level... that is what you try and sell the kids. Somebody has to play, somebody has to win gold medals, somebody has to play for Wales and so. But that skill element comes into it in the end as well. Obviously, we have all probably had dreams of playing as professionals but not many people get there. They obviously had that extra bit that got them to the high level that they are playing at today and hopefully achieving their dreams." VARIOUS OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SOCCER BALL SIGNED BY BALE 11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AT WHITCHURCH HIGH SCHOOL AND BALE'S FORMER TEACHER, GWYN MORRIS, SAYING: "The thing for any youngster now looking at him now, Gareth was not the physical stature he was in school. It just shows, if you keep working hard and people grow at different rates and certainly the physical specimen he is today is fantastic but that happened after he left school. So, if you keep working hard - for any kid anywhere in the world, never mind in Whitchurch or the primary schools here in Wales - you can look at Gareth and think that is the kind of role model I want to become." 12. RUGBY FIELD / WHITCHURCH HIGH SCHOOL 13. VARIOUS OF SOCCER PITCH 14. BALE REAL MADRID SHIRT IN FRAME 15. MESSAGE FROM BALE ON SHIRT READING (English): "To Whitchurch High School. Thanks for everything."
- Embargoed: 16th June 2017 15:15
- Keywords: Real Madrid Whitchurch school Gareth Bale
- Location: CARDIFF, WALES, UK/MADRID, SPAIN
- City: CARDIFF, WALES, UK/MADRID, SPAIN
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0026JL30VZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Saturday's (June 3) Champions League final will be a special occasion for all the players involved, but for one man in particular the match takes on extra significance.
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is returning to his home town of Cardiff already a two-time Champions League winner, looking to make it a third if injury permits.
Bale, the second most expensive signing in history, is a player used to dealing with the attention that comes from being the most famous sporting son of Wales. He recently opened up a sports bar in the city - filled with some of his prized sporting memorabilia - and retains close links to the Welsh capital.
As the clamour around Bale reaches fever pitch ahead of the final, his former physical education teacher at Whitchurch High School recalls a humble kid with an abundance of talent.
"It is that dedication, sacrifice, commitment that you need to be a top class sportsman and he had that. It is coming to fruition now," said Gwyn Morris on Friday (June 2).
Bale was in the same class at Whitchurch, Wales' biggest school, as former Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton and rugby league player Elliot Kear.
Morris hopes the players' success will breed more talented Welsh sportsmen.
Bale knows he will have the whole of Wales behind him and his Real colleagues on Saturday evening, which could prove the difference in Cardiff's cauldron of a stadium.
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