Netball star Helen Housby has praised one of her former teachers at Wigton’s Nelson Thomlinson School for the role she had in the early stages of her career.

Housby, from Drumleaning, near Wigton, has enjoyed another productive year.

The 24-year-old helped England finish third at their home Netball World Cup, before winning the Super Netball grand final with New South Wales Swifts in Australia last month.

Having enjoyed a rapid rise in 2014, as she scored a dramatic winner to secure Manchester Thunder the Superleague title, Housby’s career has gone from strength-to-strength ever since. She netted the winning shot which earned England Commonwealth Games gold last year and has already clocked up 66 international caps.

But Housby accepts she would not be where she is today without help from the likes of Jane Lee, who has now left Nelson Thomlinson School, and the support of her family.

“I first started [playing] netball at primary school. I think I was maybe five or six when I first picked up a ball and played, and then I played it all the way through school and, eventually, got pathway trials for the North-West of England,” she told England Netball's website.

“My first PE teacher at my secondary school was called Mrs Lee.

"She was always really encouraging, and loved netball and wanted me to do well, and she would always drive me to trials and things.”

Reigning Cumbria Sports Personality of the Year Housby added: “I’m very grateful for the support I’ve had from a young age up to senior level.

"They deserve all the credit to be honest and, not just coaches, but my parents, as well.”