HIGHLY-RATED Burnley striker Lewis Richardson has signed his first professional contract with the club.

The first year scholar, 17 today, has penned a deal keeping him at Turf Moor until the summer of 2022.

Moston-born Richardson, who joined the Clarets aged eight, says he has realised a dream in signing pro terms at Turf Moor.

“It’s life changing. I have worked so hard for this, training at 7pm at night and getting home at 10pm, four days a week, since about 12 years old,” he said.

“That is a long time, and to now sign my first professional contract, means the world to me and I’m absolutely over the moon.

“I have been here since I was eight years-old and ever since my first trial here, I just fell in love with Burnley Football Club.

“Everyone at the club has just made me feel so at home and I am delighted to have committed my future here.”

Richardson raised eyebrows at Turf Moor last season, scoring five goals on his debut for the youth team, aged just 15.

Later that year, having turned 16, he grabbed a hat-trick on his U23s debut and has featured on a regular basis for the Andy Farrell’s side throughout the current campaign.

“Ever since that U18 game against Crewe, when I scored five goals on my debut, things have just got better and better for me,” Richardson told the club.

“After that moment, everything changed. I then got a hat-trick on my debut for the U23s and I feel I’m progressing well.

“The club means the world to me. They have helped me so much, not just on the pitch but as a person as well, so I have a lot of love for Burnley.

“I just want to kick on now and carry on doing what I have been doing over the years, which is scoring goals.”

Richardson, who has found the net seven times this season for the Development Squad and Youth Team, has also been recognised with a debut England U17s call-up in November, when he made his debut against Denmark.

And the teenager has also had a taste of first team experience at Turf Moor, after being named on the bench against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup third-round in August.