Dereham youngster Todd Cantwell’s old school ‘incredibly proud’ after his Norwich City debut against Chelsea in FA Cup

Todd Cantwell in action for the Canaries at Stamford Bridge last night. Picture by Paul Chesterton/F

Todd Cantwell in action for the Canaries at Stamford Bridge last night. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

All eyes in Dereham were on one youngster for the Chelsea versus Norwich City FA Cup game last night.

Todd Cantwell, from Southend in the town, made his debut for the Canaries when he came on as a substitute in the 86th minute.

Unfortunately, Norwich City eventually went out on penalties to the Premier League champions. But the Championship team whose manager is Daniel Farke were praised for their performance and fight.

The teenager attended Northgate High School in Dereham from the ages of 11 to 14, and head of school Andy Mason said all eyes were glued to the TV set for the match.

He said: 'I was flicking through the matches because I'm a Wolves fan as well, and they were also playing, but what an amazing atmosphere at Chelsea.

'As a school we are incredibly proud of Todd and his achievements, and what an opportunity it was for him against Chelsea.

'He showed the same determination, commitment, drive and focus during the match that he did while he was with us.

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'He was always very confident, very committed, and driven, and his dream was to become a professional football player, which he has done.'

During Todd's time at Northgate Mr Mason said the Year 8 football team won the South Norfolk Cup with him in the side.

Mr Mason added: 'What I remember most is that he was one of the students at the school who knew what he wanted to do. He had that drive to get him forward. He has become a role model to the other students. The year before last he came to the school with Norwich City to the official re-opening of our artificial turf pitch, and he was encouraging all the other students.'

The attacking midfielder has been in and around the first team picture this season but a debut on one of the biggest stages in the land against some world class rivals was fairytale stuff.

The youngster tweeted last night: 'What a night, gutted to lose the match after so much hard work! The fans where class! '