Stars of Fleetwood Town’s past, present and future took part in a number of activities to highlight the work the club’s Community Trust does on the EFL’s Day of Action.
The FTFC Community Trust is a community project that aims to provide socially inclusive community, health and education engagement programmes.
The Trust has a charitable status and offers many diverse activities to provide people in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde with the opportunities to participate and enjoy themselves in a fun, friendly environment.
Town’s U18s joined pupils from Shakespeare Primary School in litter picking on Fleetwood beach.
Alternatively, first teamers Paddy Madden, Wes Burns and James Husband stuck to what they do best – football – by joining the Premier League Primary Stars football training session at Larkholme Primary.
The aim of those sessions is to use the appeal of professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.
Madden said: “I just think it is about coming together with the community and giving back.
“It is nice to get out and have a kickabout with the kids because I know they will appreciate it.
“There were a lot of good players out there and I got nutmegged about 10 times so you always look out for them.”
However, the Trust also caters for other sports as some of Joey Barton’s other squad members discovered during the day.
Ash Hunter and Jason Holt played cricket at St Wulstan’s and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery in Fleetwood.
Ash Eastham, Lewie Coyle and Alex Cairns joined youngsters at Stanah Primary School for an after-school badminton session led by the trust.
Coyle said: “It is different for us because we are up at Highbury and Poolfoot most of the time so it is nice to get a change of scenery and come out and see what is happening in the schools.
“When we have activities like this when we can interact with the kids, it is brilliant because it brings them out of their shell. If we can repay them with a visit, then that is the least we can do.”
Nevertheless, the Trust’s work is about more than the community’s youngsters.
Earlier in the day the first team squad and Barton met members of the Fleetwood Town Flyers walking football team at Poolfoot Farm.
The team is one of the Trust’s health-focused programmes aimed at getting people over 50 to stay active.
The Community Trust delivers five sessions on a weekly basis for men and women.
Flyers player Richard Almond said: “We’d like to thank the club and the Community Trust for inviting our team down today to meet the players. It’s been fantastic.
“The walking football team is growing from strength to strength. We have over 90 members for the Flyers with four different sessions running every week, which has benefited our players physically, mentally and socially.”
Town’s club captain Craig Morgan added: “Since I’ve been here, we’ve continued to do lots of work within the community and we know it’s a vital part of our football club.
“We’ve enjoyed meeting the Flyers this morning and chatting football – one of their players said we don’t pass it enough so I’ll be passing that onto the gaffer!”