Thursday 12 September 2013
Manchester United and England defender Phil Jones took time out to visit his former secondary school, Balshaw’s C.E. High School in Leyland, Lancashire, and presented the pupils with a free team strip and training equipment through the Premier League Kit Scheme.
Balshaw’s is at present providing lessons to pupils from neighbouring Leyland St Mary's Catholic Technology College, which was burnt down on the eve of the school year this month.
"It is always nice to come back. I have a lot of fond memories from here"
The Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme, which began in 2011, is a joint initiative between the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), which involves players from each Barclays Premier League club donating £25,000 per club to create a £500,000 fund for the kit.
This season, each United player has been asked to nominate a school, junior club or youth organisation to receive a donation of Nike team strips and training equipment, with the scheme aimed at benefiting teams from areas in need of assistance.
In addition to Jones' aid, Manchester United also donated a number of items, including signed shirts, to help raise funds for Balshaw’s.
"It is always nice to come back," Jones said. "I have a lot of fond memories from here. Football was always my No 1 thing. I got scouted for Blackburn at the end of year six in primary school, so when I came here I was already at Blackburn and stayed there right through my high school.
"I used to miss every Tuesday in year 10 and 11 to train with the players from other schools in Blackburn. Thankfully it paid off, otherwise I would have got it in the neck from the teachers!"
For more information on the Premier League Kit Scheme click here