“It was always clear he was going to play at a high level”, the verdict of Matt Ingram’s old PE teacher when the keeper visited his old school on Wednesday.
“We’ve wanted to get Matt in for some time, obviously he’s a bit of a superstar at the school and it’s nice to have him back,” he told Chairboys Player.
“He was one of the nicest young men I have met in teaching. He was really hardworking not only in football but in his studies as well – he’s a smashing lad.
“His skill set and the size of him – along with his attitude and work-rate - ensured he was the best, so it was always clear he was going to play at a high level.
“There’s a lot of very talented young footballers out there who maybe haven’t made the grade purely because they don’t have the same attitude and work ethic of Matt.”
Ingram himself was happy to be back at the school which had such a profound effect on his professional career, saying: “It’s great to come back here and give a little bit back to the community and see all the staff and pupils as well.
“They have had a massive impact on my career. This school’s philosophy is football and when I was here I was picked up by Wycombe – so they’ve done a hell of a lot for me."
During his time at John Hampden Ingram also represented England schoolboys, while winning a number of county cups, and going on tours to Italy and the USA.
And after that success, the shot-stopper has now established himself as first choice between the posts for his hometown club - something he describes as a dream come true.
By Sean Gallagher