Thursday 15 March 2012
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has returned to his old primary school in Bootle to donate football kit and training gear as part of the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme.
The defender visited All Saints Primary as part of an initiative launched by the Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) to boost the sport at grassroots level.
The initiative is providing U16 clubs, schools and youth organisations in England and Wales with free football kit and equipment, with priority being given to those that come from areas that are deemed to be in most need of assistance.
"People round here are proud of me... It's important that I come back and recognise them as well"
- Jamie Carragher
The Premier League Players' Kit Scheme originated at a meeting between the Premier League, delegates from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and players from all top-flight clubs. The squads of all 20 clubs have donated £25,000, ensuring the big pot of £500,000.
Carragher was one of the delegates who attended that meeting and he was delighted to see the idea come to fruition, allowing him the chance to inspire a new generation.
He said: "It's always great to come back. It's All Saints now but it was St James' when I was a lad.
"This is the area where I was born and brought up and I've got a lot of family and friends around here. People around here are very proud of what I've achieved at Liverpool. It's important to me that I come back and recognise them as well.
"Hopefully one day we will see another kid from Marsh Lane doing as well as I've done if not better. That's what we would all love to see."
The Premier League is once again accepting applications for the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme and teams can apply at premierleague.com.
There were nearly 2,000 application enquiries during the first phase of the application process and over 350 teams have been successful in their application. The Premier League and the PFA are now in the process of distributing that kit.
The PFA's director of community John Hudson added: "The way the kids' faces lit up when Jamie walked in, you could see what it meant to them.
"The aim of the initiative is to give something back to grassroots football and get players to inspire children to achieve."