CHARLTON defender Grant Basey will not forget 2007 in a hurry after breaking into the first team and will be hoping the coming 12 months prove to be equally as memorable.

The 19-year-old defender made his Addicks first team debut against QPR in October and went on to make six impressive appearances before picking up a groin injury.

Despite the setback, the future certainly looks bright for the young star and he already has a home-made fan club at his former school, Coopers in Hawkwood Lane, Chislehurst.

It was here where Basey first came to prominence on the football field and his sudden rise to the top came as no shock to those who nurtured his talent.

Oliver Hobbs, who is head of PE at Coopers, remembers a multi-talented all-rounder who was always destined to go to the top.

He said: "I'm not surprised at all. His natural ability across all sports was quite evident since he came here at Year 7.

"In fact, he was even a big part of the basketball team and competed at quite a few other sports as well like tennis and athletics.

"It is a massive achievement for the school to have someone like Grant make it in professional football.

"With the current climate of young English players not making it, it is nice to know on the level Coopers are at there is somebody who could potentially be playing in the Premiership within a couple of years."

While many professional footballers head straight to the golf course or the bookies after training, Basey can more often than not be found back at the grounds of Coopers watching a football match.

Basey actually left the school at the age of 16 to attend a course at Orpington College as part of his Charlton contract, although it is Coopers which remains closest to his heart.

Mr Hobbs said: "Whenever Grant finishes training in the afternoon, he pops in and says hello.

"All of the pupils know about him and what he is doing and a lot of them go and see him play as well because there are a lot of Charlton supporters here.

"He is such a nice lad and has created strong relationships with the PE staff and hopefully they will continue."

One PE teacher who has always taken a keen interest in Basey's career is David Eckersall.

He knew from day one he had something special on his hands whenever he first saw the young prospect Basey take to the field at Coopers all those years ago.

Mr Eckersall said: "My first impression was he was a very strong player and very comfortable with the ball and was never in any rush.

"He had a very, very good left foot. Grant did stand out, however, it was a very good team and there were a lot of very good players in that team.

"He is playing left back for Charlton now, but because of how good he was for Coopers he was a central midfielder back then. Grant basically ran the game."

In fact, Mr Eckersall believes it will be no great shock if Basey reverts back to his favoured position in the middle at some point in the future.

He explained: "I think it tends to happen quite a lot whereby the higher in standard you go, you generally do come a little further back eventually.

"It would not surprise me if later on in Grant's career when he is in his mid-20s if he pushes on back into the midfield."

Mr Eckersall added: "I've pretty much followed him throughout his career and if I do play Championship Manager, I will be buying him in the near future.

"At the moment I would probably pay about £1m for him because he is a good young prospect."