Film star wanted to play football for Norwich City

He is one of the hottest new names in Hollywood – but actor Sam Claflin originally dreamed of being a footballer for Norwich City.

Sam, a former Costessey High student, stars alongside Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie but he recently revealed to a national newspaper that, had he not broken his ankle as a teenager, his career may have gone in an entirely different direction.

The 24-year-old spoke of how as a teenager it was '24/7 football' and he played the sport every day of the week.

He was a member of the School of Excellence for Norwich City FC but his sporting aspirations were shattered when he broke his ankle.

'I was playing down the park with some friends and the ball kind of bobbled. Me and a mate collided and I kicked someone's ankle instead of the ball,' Sam told the national newspaper.

'I ended up walking home on it, thinking it wasn't that bad. But as I walked, my ankle snapped in half. At that moment I realised how serious it was because of the pain. I did try getting back into football but my ankle couldn't last for a full game.'

He had previously appeared in school plays and decided to instead focus on acting and joined the Norfolk Youth Music Theatre. Sam studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and has appeared in the TV programmes Pillars Of The Earth, Any Human Heart, and United.

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In the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean installment Sam plays kidnapped missionary Philip Swift. He has also been cast as Prince Charming in Snow White and the Huntsman, a film version of the fairytale starring Kristen Stewart.

'I can't quite fathom what is going on with my life at the moment,' he told the national newspaper.

'For me to be able to play across from some of the great names is unbelievable. It is so bizarre.'

Sam, who has three brothers, said he was enjoying sharing his his acting success with his family.

'My parents don't have any showbusiness links. My mum is a classroom assistant at the high school I went to and dad is an accountant and a finance manager for a charity radio station. They are so far away from it. It is nice to be able to share it with them and hold hands and scream together.'

Did you play football or star in a show with Sam Claflin? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email