WITH three former Prime Ministers to boast of, Balliol College in Oxford, only takes the very best students.
So it’s a long way to go for a former Millwall goalkeeper.
The scoreline for Jamie Farmer’s A-level results was a stunning two A*s and two As victory, netting him a place at the hallowed institution.
The 20-year-old, from Kingsmill Close, Gosport, picked up the incredible results at Havant Sixth Form College – two years after his hopes of being a professional footballer ended.
As a 15-year-old he played for the Pompey Academy and was snapped up by Millwall on a two year youth contract.
He was released from that and decided to aim for the top again – this time in a more cerebral sphere.
He said: ‘It is very different but there was nothing I could do about my footballing career, they released me.
‘It would have been good to play for England one day but it’s so competitive that the vast majority of youth players are let go. I’m very happy to be able to fall back on my grades.’
Jamie’s A*s are in English literature and history and his As are in French and economics.
The former Portsmouth Grammar pupil clocked up an incredible 10A*s at GCSE.
He was one of thousands of youngsters who picked up their A-level results earlier.
Across Hampshire, 97 per cent achieved the Level 3 standard of two or more A*-E grades at A-level, or the vocational equivalent. Results also show that 24 per cent achieved an A* or A grade.
Nationally, the overall pass rate rose marginally to 98.1 per cent. And 26.3 per cent were given A or A* grades, 0.3 per cent down on last year.
Jamie, who will study law at Balliol, said: ‘It’s one of those subjects that always poses questions, particularly moral questions.
‘You learn a wide berth of things. It’s part sociological, part philosophical, and can be very technical.
‘I chose Balliol because I wanted to go to the best university I possibly could.
‘And I worked really, really hard for this.’
At Championship club Millwall it was Jamie’s job to clean the boots of the then first-team goalkeepers.
He trained four days a week, playing in youth team matches on Saturday mornings and acting as a ball boy during the first team matches.
Life will be very different now. At his university, in the tradition of the UK’s ancient universities, he will have a porter to look after him and his fellow students.