MATTHEW ETHERINGTON rolled back the years on Tuesday afternoon by returning to school to help run a sports lesson at Sir John Offley CE in Madeley.
The Stoke City winger made the surprise visit to the delighted schoolchildren as part of the national ‘Chance to Shine’ project, which is being overseen in the Potteries by Football Club’s Community Trust.
In association with Staffordshire Cricket, the Potters star, along with community coaches from the Club, helped deliver the one-hour free cricket lesson in a bid to help youngsters develop an interest in the sport.
Speaking to stokecityfc.com, Etherington said: “Coming to this school as really brought back a lot of memories for me, because I used to really enjoy playing cricket when I was at school.
“I love watching cricket on the television and I really enjoyed watching the Ashes in the summer, although I sadly don’t have time to play myself because of my football commitments.
“The session was really good, and all of the children seemed to be enjoying themselves.”
He added: “Projects like this are great because it is important to nurture young talent, and more importantly it is a great way for children to get fit and be active.”
Stoke City Head of Community, Adrian Hurst said: “As a football club we want young people to access as many opportunities as they can.
“We are always trying to find the next player in our first team squad but its also our responsibility to signpost them to other opportunities in other sports.”