ANDY WILKINSON took a trip down memory lane this week when he presented a group of young footballers with a fantastic prize from the Co-operative Bank.
The 28-year-old full-back returned to the Alleynes High School where he was once a pupil to hand over kit to the Stone Dominoes club which helped launch his career.
Although the surroundings were very familiar to Wilkinson, he noticed a big change in the facilities which the youngsters now use to develop their footballing skills.
Stone Dominoes Under-9s were training on a new 3G surface behind the school’s sports centre on the occasion that the defender made the special presentation.
“There was no Astro Turf when I was here, just a red ash pitch,” he said. “It’s great to come back and see all the fantastic new facilities they have here now.
“Alleynes is where I used to go to school and I used to play for Stone Dominoes, so this is a trip down memory lane remembering all the good times.”
He added: “My heroes were Mark Stein and Paul Gascoigne when I was growing up, so I used to pretend I was them whilst playing here in the playground.”
The handover of the team strip by Wilkinson is just part of a fabulous prize which Stone Dominoes have been awarded by the Co-operative Bank.
The Under-9s will also receive a coaching package from Stoke City’s Community coaches, will make a visit to the Clayton Wood Training Ground and play an end-of-season game at the Britannia Stadium against the winner of a similar competition.
“It’s wonderful to see my old club benefiting in this way,” commented Wilkinson. “They will look fantastic in their brand new kit and I am sure they will get a lot of benefit out of the coaching which they will receive from the Community team.”
The competition is one of many community initiatives being supported by the Club’s Official Community and Banking Partner Britannia, which is part of the Co-operative Bank.