Jude Bellingham's thank you to Birmingham City began his stratospheric rise

Next month will mark five years since Jude Bellingham signed his first scholarship with Birmingham City. At a time when the likes of Arsenal were known to be interested in recruiting the teenager, who was making waves within the walls of Wast Hills and beyond, Bellingham committed to his development with boyhood club Blues as a 16-year-old.

While that two-year scholarship might've led to a senior deal for many in time, much further down the line, for Bellingham his first-team career started that summer. He started in the 3-0 EFL Cup defeat at Portsmouth, becoming the club's youngest player in its history in doing so, and despite the result and his tender years, Bellingham stood out from his more experienced peers.

The rest is history. Pep Clotet granted Bellingham his chance in the Championship and he scored winners against Stoke City and Charlton Athletic. By the end of the campaign, even behind closed doors, he was influencing games and completed his move to Borussia Dortmund for a significant fee having ensured Blues would benefit following the signing of his first senior contract.

READ: New Blues boss has seven whizzkids ready to blood in League One

READ: Bellingham sends Blues message minutes after Champions League triumph

An Instagram post from Bellingham, 256 weeks ago, marked the signing of that first scholarship agreement being signed. The photo was of Bellingham, in a three-piece suit and sat at a table accompanied with the Blues top he'd wear and a football, with pen in hand and a smile of pride on his face.

"Delighted to have signed my scholarship at Birmingham City," he wrote. "A big thanks to my family, team mates and members of staff that have done so much to get me this far. The hard work continues. @bcfc #KRO."

How will Jude and England do at the Euros? Tell us here