A TEENAGE girl who stabbed a school friend in the chest, ending his dreams of becoming a professional footballer, has been sent down for six years.

The 16-year-old today starts her sentence at a youth offending facility after she left a classmate fighting for his life when she plunged a kitchen knife into him.

She had arranged to meet him in Southcote with the 25cm blade concealed under her clothing after an argument on social media spilled out on to the streets.

As he approached she lifted the weapon above her head and drew it down.

Two further swipes narrowly missed after the schoolboy, 16, grabbed her wrist to defend himself.

A jury at an earlier hearing heard how after the girl fled the scene on June 7, last year, he sent a selfie of his bloodstained clothes to friends before realising the extent of his injuries and collapsing outside his home in front of his younger brother.

For legal reasons both teenagers' identities are protected.

The girl, who was 15 at the time of the attack, was acquitted of a charge of attempted murder but convicted of wounding with intent.

Beverly Cripps, prosecuting at Reading Crown Court on Friday, told a judge the victim had missed out on his "burgeoning career as a professional footballer" as a result of his injuries.

She said: "It was a life threatening attack that required surgery and a lengthy period of recovery."

The judge also heard how he was losing sleep and having recurring nightmares of the moment he was stabbed.

Edward Butler, defending, said: "There is no doubt that she bitterly regrets what took place that day and that is true."

He went on to describe her as young and immature and added: "As a young girl it may be that she struggles in coming to terms with what she did."

Judge Stephen John, told the girl: "Your case is yet another in the continuing litany of those in which young, sometimes very young people, use knives to injure others.

"Sometimes, as in your case, this is done as a reaction or revenge for the most trifling of incidents.

"The fact that you have come to appreciate just how grave an offence is and that you could just have well caused his death given how close the wound was to his heart."

The girl denied all charges against her and was convicted by a jury at the same court on November 27.

She was sentenced to six years' detainment in a youth offending facility.