Football students score free travel with Great Northern and Thameslink

PUBLISHED: 15:33 08 October 2018

Footballers from Stevenage, Hitchin, Knebworth, Sandy and Luton will benefit from free train travel, courtesy of Govia. Picture: Peter Alvey Photographer

Footballers from Stevenage, Hitchin, Knebworth, Sandy and Luton will benefit from free train travel, courtesy of Govia. Picture: Peter Alvey Photographer

Peter Alvey Photographer

Six up-and-coming footballers from Herts and Beds have been offered free travel on Great Northern and Thameslink for their sports education in London, thanks to train operator Govia.

The rising sports stars from Stevenage, Hitchin, Knebworth, Sandy and Luton were struggling to afford the daily travel needed for them to attend their Sports BTEC at the Lea Valley Pro:Direct Academy in north London.

The lads benefitting include 17-year-old RJ Smith-Jones – a Bermuda U20 international player – who travels from Luton.

Joining him is 16-year-old Tommy Reynolds and Jack Thomas, 18, who both travel from Stevenage, Harvey Moss, 16, from Knebworth, 17-year-old Ricardo Green from Hitchin and Sam Willis from Sandy.

Govia’s employee engagement manager Paula Hilliard has been working with The Prince’s Trust to organise Govia’s Get Into Railways programmes for disadvantaged young adults

The academy’s head of coaching Danny Payne said: “Without this free travel support from Govia the lads would not be able to be a part of the Pro:Direct Academy.

“They now have the chance to chase their football dream while carrying on their academic studies, which we hope will give them great options and great potential when they finish their two years with us. We can’t thank GTR and Paula enough.”

Former academy graduates who enjoyed GTR’s travel support during their studies include Jack Morrell, who went on to sign for League One club Gillingham, and Harry Draper, who is now with League Two side Stevenage.

Paula said: “It’s such an honour to help these young men continue their studies and support them with this chance to improve their lives.

“We do a lot at Govia to help young people transform their lives and I love the work we do with all 60 of those who join us on our Prince’s Trust development programme.

“It’s wonderful for us to have the chance to make a difference to someone’s life. 
“I look forward to hearing about how these promising footballers progress.”

The Get Into Railways scheme selects people aged 18 to 25 to received free four-week and two-day courses at a training centre on the Great Northern Thameslink Network.

For more information go to about the academy, go to

To find more on the Get Into Railways scheme, visit, or


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other The Comet visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by The Comet staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique The Comet account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Latest from the The Comet

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists