LEIGH Centurions star Micky Higham went back to his old school to inspire graduates about how he reached the heights of a formidable Super League rugby league player.

The 38-year-old returned to Bedford High School as a guest of honour for the Year 11 graduation evening to deliver a masterclass of positive thinking.

The former Great Britain international, who also played for Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens cited effort as a main factor in the he experienced on the pitch.

He said: “I was never the biggest, fastest or strongest.

“But I was one of the most determined and I refused to give up on my dreams.

“When other players were thinking they had done enough for the day, I would carry on training. I would work in my own time or on my days off to make sure I was the best I could be.”

As a coach for his hometown club Micky uses his drive and determination to encourage others as well as people in his role as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at his own gym.

He added: “Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something.

"Believe in yourself, work hard and whatever you want to do in life, go for it.”

The ceremony honoured the results of the school's success with leavers receiving their GCSE certificates on the day.

One of the school's top performances Alex Chan for 10 GCSEs at level 7 or above and he was presented with a special achievement award at the ceremony.

Students Cailey Miller and Dillian Rowlands were both presented with the Ian Howarth trophy for sporting excellence and various accolades in different subjects.

Bedford High School headteacher Helen Phillips added: “I am so proud of all Bedford students and especially the ones who work hard and achieve well.

“I really think the caring ethos and the willingness to work hard for each other sets this school apart from the rest.

“Nights like this are what memories are made of.

"We hope that more of you will keep in touch and let us know what you are doing.

"Keep working hard and being decent people, that’s the most important thing.”