Blackpool footballer Kurt Willoughby scores for England C against Wales at Salford City as James Hardy of AFC Fylde also impresses

Kurt Willoughby is now playing for England in a football career which began at Foxhall
Kurt Willoughby is now playing for England in a football career which began at Foxhall
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Blackpool-born striker Kurt Willoughby scored his first goal for the England C team in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with a Wales XI at Salford City.

FC United of Manchester hitman Willoughby scored the second goal for the England non-league side with a ferocious free-kick from long-range.

AFC Fylde’s James Hardy played alongside Willoughby in the starting XI and was among England’s most impressive performers.

England had scored first from an own goal but both times the home nation took the lead they were pegged back.

Willoughby’s previous England C appearance was last October against Estonia Under-23 at Leyton Orient.

A carpet-fitter by trade, Willoughby lives on Common Edge Road and is a former pupil of Highfield School.

He was a prolific finisher in junior football with Foxhall and played for AFC Blackpool before moving on the Clitheroe and FC United, for whom he has scored 16 goals in 35 appearances this season.

Willoughby, who was substituted after 81 minutes, was one of three players from National League North sides in the starting XI, alongside Darlington’s Luke Trotman and Kidderminster’s Ed Williams.

Fylde’s Hardy was an attacking threat throughout and he looked set to score a last-minute winner when denied by an outstanding challenge by Wales skipper Aeron Edwards.

Hardy has had a loan spell with Halifax Town this year but was recalled to Fylde’s starting XI for last weekend’s FA Trophy semi-final at home to Stockport County.