The son of Preston North End manager Simon Grayson has joined his dad’s former club Blackburn Rovers.
Fifteen year-old striker Joe, who attends Moorland School in Clitheroe, 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, Moorland carried off the National Independent Schools’ Football Association Under-16s 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.”
Under Jackson’s watchful eye, Moorland have forged a reputation for nurturing young talent, with ex-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.”
Head teacher Jonathan Harrison said: “Moorland School is incredibly proud of their achievements.
“The boys have done so well – it is a huge achievement for them.”