STUDENTS were delighted after an English project led to them gaining acknowledgement from football legend and pundit Gary Neville.

The Workington Academy students were tasked by English teacher Tina Thompson to write mock letters to the proposed Super League as part of their GCSE persuasive writing studies.

The group crafted letters giving their view on the proposed changes to the game, which the footballer has previously spoken out against ferociously.

The group used lots of persuasive writing techniques in the letters, writing phrases the commentator had said the previous week.

After the lesson, Mrs Thompson decided to tweet Mr Neville telling him that her class was using his speech to pass their GCSEs, she sent the message saying; “@GNEV2 my class of boys are using you as inspiration to pass the GCSE’s-not sure you know how fab your SS speech was! It’s a new persuasive language device called the Nev effect!”

Much to the absolute shock of the small Year 10 class, the ex-England player responded by liking and sharing the tweet as well as sending a message of thanks to the students for their work.

Mrs Thompson, who is also a director of learning at the academy was delighted that Mr Neville had taken the time to reply to the students.

She said: “It is really important for me because it made it real for the boys, it was allowing them to see that it’s for a purpose. They were absolutely overjoyed, and you can’t get better than that can you.”

They couldn’t wait to tell all the other teachers and their friends, and their reaction was priceless.”

The English teacher said that the acknowledgement form someone like Gary Neville, who all the boys look up to and aspire to be like when they grow up, brought what they have been learning in English into a real-life setting which helped the group see how important their English GCSE will be in the future.