He rejected a lucrative football deal with Blues to concentrate on his GCSEs and A-levels.
Now Raashid Salim has turned his back on his books to concentrate on a career in modelling.
The 23-year-old, from Solihull, is set to star in a Mars TV advert to be screened in the run-up to the World Cup in the summer and he has reached the men’s final of a L’Oreal hair competition.
The talented University of Birmingham sports psychology student had also shown promise as a cricketer and was selected as a net bowler to warm-up international teams before matches at Edgbaston. And he has still found time to play the odd game, playing for non-league Stourbridge FC last season.
Raashid’s modelling career took off when he was crowned winner of the Editorial Challenge category in the glamorous Face of the World competition held during Birmingham International Fashion Week earlier this month.
“I was 16 when I played professional football at Birmingham City,” he said.
“My father wanted me to continue with my studies, so we rejected the contract to sign for them,” said Raashid, who attended Malvern College.
“I am very passionate about sports and fitness and it was always my dream to play professionally. I was scouted at 18 for modelling, but had other things to fulfil at the time. I’ve done some photo shoots for magazines, clothing retailers and some advertising boards.
“I’ve only been doing it (modelling) for a year now so a lot of the published work has come quite quickly because it takes some models years.
“The next step is to try to get into London International Fashion Week, gain more experience and get more exposure.”