Manchester City and England star Georgia Stanway hopes her story inspires other young women to forge a career in football as she brought World Cup fever to Baines Endowed VC School

Man City and England footballer Georgia Stanway pays a visit to Baines Endowed Primary in Thornton.  She is pictured with pupils Serenna Hunte and Maisy Legge.
Man City and England footballer Georgia Stanway pays a visit to Baines Endowed Primary in Thornton. She is pictured with pupils Serenna Hunte and Maisy Legge.

Before she lifted the FA Cup with Steph Houghton, Manchester City star Georgia Stanway shared a throwback snap of herself as a fan meeting her hero.

And as the England star prepared for the World Cup by meeting youngsters at Baines Endowed VC School in Thornton, Stanway hopes that some of the 19 female footballers at the school will follow in her and Houghton's footsteps.

Man City and England footballer Georgia Stanway pays a visit to Baines Endowed Primary in Thornton.  She is pictured with youngsters from Key Stage 2.

Man City and England footballer Georgia Stanway pays a visit to Baines Endowed Primary in Thornton. She is pictured with youngsters from Key Stage 2.

Who knows? In 10 years' time some of the primary school's pupils could be forging a career as professional footballers - and the main message from 20-year-old Stanway to the young boys and girls at Baines Endowed was about resilience and following your dreams.

Stanway's own dreams came true last Saturday, when she scored at Wembley as City beat West Ham 3-0 to win the FA Cup.

But that was not the only high of her week as Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling named his fellow PFA young player of the year as a member of Phil Neville's 23-strong squad for next month's World Cup in France.

But despite the accolades, trophies and fame, the 20-year-old from Barrow has her feet firmly on the ground and brought smiles to the faces at Baines Endowed on Station Road.

Stanway was greeted by posters welcoming her and was gifted with a handmade card and cardboard England shirt by the children, who wished her luck in England's quest to lift the World Cup.

And Stanway hopes she can inspire the youth of tomorrow. She gave a talk in assembly, took question and answer sessions and coached some of the youngsters before watching a match.

Her main message to the kids: follow your dreams.

Had she ever thought she would be named in an England World Cup squad and be here talking to youngsters about her professional football career?

She replied: "Definitely not. I think that is why that picture blew up so much on social media!

"I just got tagged in a picture with Steph from 2013, when I queued in my Blackburn kit for a picture with her and Kelly Smith.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I think that on Saturday Steph would be leading me out in an FA Cup final at Wembley. That just shows that dreams do come true.

"I've worked so hard for moments like that and it makes it so worthwhile. When you are younger you forget what you dreamed of and your goals, but looking back I always knew I wanted to be a footballer. I tried so hard to do that.

"A picture like that speaks a thousand words because you try so hard and Saturday was so momentous. I will remember that for the rest of my life.

"From day one I knew I wanted to be a footballer. I had role models and looked up to male and female footballers.

"To play under Steph is unbelievable because she is a true professional. I look up to her every day.

"I can ask her advice. We have banter and I have built a really good relationship with her. I would love to do that with the younger players.

"Sometimes you can get caught up in the football bubble and forget that there is an outside world because you train and play all the time.

"But when you do school visits it kind of inspires you because you can give the girls something to look up to."