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Maidstone: Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein who brought Arsene Wenger to the Premier League inspires Cornwallis Academy students in motivational talk

Arsenal legend David Dein visited a Maidstone school this week to pass on inspirational advice to some of its students.

The former Gunners' vice-chairman, famous for bringing Arsene Wenger, the club's most successful manager in history, to north London, has been touring the country's schools and prisons to drive home the importance of having ambition and working hard.

Mr Dein, who has also worked with the FA, UEFA and FIFA, has done more than 600 talks in recent years and popped into Cornwallis Academy on Hubbards Lane on Monday, where he was met with a strong reception.

Student Louis Walker said: "He started as a businessman, and it's incredible to know how starting as a simple fan he can really rise to the top of a club that he had a real passion for.

"It's something that really drives me to achieve what I want and follow my dream."

Fellow pupil Charlie Haffenden added: "It really shows that you can start from the very bottom if you are determined enough and you do persevere.

"If I can keep working and keep getting better and better then I can reach the very top just like he did."

Mr Dein began after being approached by journalist, and fellow Arsenal fan, Robert Peston, who had set up the Speakers For Schools charity.

David Dein gives a talk at the Cornwallis Academy (5527650)
David Dein gives a talk at the Cornwallis Academy (5527650)

He said: "I enjoy it, wherever I go I get the two magic words when I get home: 'thank you', and that keeps me going.

"The students were very attentive, they were alert and a credit to the teachers.

"They were very well behaved and picked up most of the messages that I left for them.

"It starts with being the best you can be, and we talk about behaviour and attitude, we talk about pride in their work, trying to be original, and the essential ingredients to be successful, which is hard work, vision and courage.

"My own personal motto is that of the turtle - you don't get anywhere unless you stick your neck up."

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