FROM Stalybridge Celtic to the Premier League in less than three years is the remarkable story of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
And the young Everton striker’s career was propelled to an even higher level in the summer when he scored the match-winning goal for England in the final of the FIFA U20 World Cup.
Keith Briggs, Celtic’s assistant manager, was in charge at Bower Fold when he signed youth-team player Calvert-Lewin on loan from Sheffield United on Christmas eve 2014.
Calvert-Lewin scored twice on his debut in the derby win against Hyde United and found the net six times in five games.
Briggs recalled at the time realising Calvert-Lewis, then aged 17, had immense potential, ability and a desire to succeed.
He said: “I arranged a youth loan through my contacts at Sheffield United. They, like many other Football League clubs, send out young players to toughen them up and take them out of their comfort zone.
“It is a baptism of fire for young players when results can mean jobs are on the line, but Dom embraced it and took it on board.
“He was only a young lad, but you could see the pedigree and hunger to do well.
“At the time we were struggling in National League North, but he came in from a big club with no aires and graces and integrated well.”
Briggs was impressed by the young Calvert-Lewin, saying: “Dom was only with us a short space of time, but the impact he made on the club was very good.
“We signed him on Christmas eve and on Boxing Day he scored twice in our 4-2 derby win against Hyde and also scored in the return on New Year’s Day when we won 7-1.
“To beat our local rivals twice and pick up valuable points was important, and he delivered.
“It was not just the goals he scored, his work rate was phenomenal and he also contributed four or five assists.”
Briggs added Calvert-Lewin had all the attributes to be a top player.
He said: “If you were to build an ideal footballer, it would be Dom.
“He is 6ft 2in, athletic, has pace and a great attitude though, when he was with us, he was not as powerful as he is now.
“He has worked hard at his physicality and taken it to a new level. And Dom deserves a pat on the back for the way he has developed his game since he was with us.
“And I believe he will go on to win senior caps for England.”
Briggs concluded: “Dom was only with us six weeks so we only played a small part in his development.
“Hopefully he enjoyed his time working under me, but Dom’s success is all down to him and the work Sheffield United and Everton have done with him.”
Briggs has kept in touch with Calvert-Lewin, explaining: “When I have watched him on television and he has done well, I send him a congratulatory text,” he said.