A Thai refugee has signed a professional contract with Sheffield United nine years after fleeing his homeland and resettling in England.

Kler Heh, who is from the oppressed Karen ethnic group, grew up playing football on the streets of the Umpiem Mai refugee camp on the Thailand-Burma border and never dreamed he'd be in the position he finds himself today.

"You can't really get out, nobody has a passport to go into Thailand and go out like a normal human would," Kler explained to Reuters.

But in 2006, Kler and his family, unable to speak the language, were resettled in Sheffield by the UN Gateway Protection Programme.

Bramall Lane, the home of Sheffield United (Picture: Getty)

The winger started playing for local clubs and, after hearing about the Football Unites Racism Divides group, eventually found himself at trials with the Blades - making it into their academy on the third attempt.

Trying to progress through the academy ranks is a tough challenge on its own.

Kler has done this at the same time as having to learn a new language and adapt to an unfamiliar culture. It has been an incredible achievement to be awarded with a professional contract at the club.

  • Nick Cox, Sheffield United academy manager
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