SOME of football’s biggest names were in Barnsley on Wednesday to mark the start of a new community fund.
Former Leicester City, Liverpool and England forward Emile Heskey joined EFL Chair Rick Parry and Sky Bet’s managing director Dan Colton at Oakwell’s indoor training centre to meet local walking footballer who will benefit from new funding.
Launching at Barnsley FC, the Building Foundations Fund represents the largest multi-year sponsor-backed fund dedicated solely to community activity and will give the 72 EFL clubs a chance to bid for grants of up to £100,000 to invest in ongoing programmes or to develop new initiatives.
Barnsley will be able to spend £10,000 initially to support work all across the borough.
Head of Foundation Keiron Campbell told the Chronicle: “We’re the charitable arm of the football club and we’re utilise the fund to enrich our programmes and to reach a wider local demographic.
“We want to support people with their health and wellbeing.
“It’s a great event to showcase what we can offer for local people - not just in terms of physical activity, but social isolation and connecting people.
“We want to make Barnsley a better place to be.”
Heskey added: “I’ve got a bit of walking football in and everyone has been hospitable.
“I made a couple of fouls that I didn't know were part of the rules.
"It was good fun to see everyone come together, have fun.
“That's what football does, puts a smile on people's faces."