• Duncan Watmore has become only the second Premier League player to collect first-class honours degree 
  • Former Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Bradford defender David Wetherall was the first to collect degree

Sam Cunningham

Duncan Watmore has become only the second Premier League player to receive a first-class honours degree at university.

The Sunderland forward has already been celebrating this season with goals on his Premier League and League Cup debuts, but made it a hat-trick when he picked up the results for his economics and business management degree on Thursday afternoon.

Duncan Watmore receives warm welcome from Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat on Thursday

Duncan Watmore receives warm welcome from Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat on Thursday

The Sunderland forward earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s recent England Under 21 side

The Sunderland forward earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s recent England Under 21 side

Former Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds and Bradford defender David Wetherall was the first, earning the highest honour for his degree in chemistry from the University of Sheffield in 1992.

Watmore, 21, has been studying for the degree at Newcastle University while coming through Sunderland’s academy. Last season, he won the Under 21 Premier League Player of the Year award.

He was revising for exams while playing for England Under 20s in the Toulon Tournament this summer. The University allowed him to postpone his final two exams due to the tournament, which he then completed in July.

Watmore concentrates on his studies at England's team headquarters in Bandol during the Toulon Tournament

Watmore concentrates on his studies at England’s team headquarters in Bandol during the Toulon Tournament

The Sunderland forward studies for a first-class honours degree in economics and business management

The Sunderland forward studies for a first-class honours degree in economics and business management

Watmore took his studies wherever he has played, starting at Manchester University while playing for non-League Altrincham — where he was nicknamed the ‘Ginger Messi’ by fans for his performances — switching to Newcastle when he was picked up by Sunderland and his books travelled with him to Edinburgh Library when he went on loan to Hibernian last year.

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat described Watmore as a ‘natural goalscorer’ at the end of last season and has handed him a chance this campaign. He has produced two goals in three matches. It earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s recent England Under 21 side, where he set up James Wilson on his debut for the winner against USA Under 23s.

After picking up his results, Watmore will return straight back to training with Sunderland and hopes to be in contention to face Tottenham on Sunday. 

 

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