Brooking’s legacy hailed

Sir Trevor Brooking has marked his retirement from football by celebrating the six millionth child taking part on The FA Skills Programme.

The outgoing FA Director of Football Development was at Parliament today alongside the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, The Right Honourable Sajid Javid MP and FA General Secretary Alex Horne to toast the continuing success of the programme.

Speaking at the event, Horne paid tribute to Brooking’s 11-year stint at The FA. He said: “What more fitting way to honour the dedication and commitment of such a great servant to the English game than by recognising the tremendous work he has done.

“I’m hugely proud that we have been able to offer six million places so far”

Sir Trevor Brooking

“Sir Trevor was instrumental in laying the foundations of the FA Skills Programme which now boasts nearly 160 dedicated expert coaches across the length and breadth of the country. He leaves a lasting legacy for the future of football in this country.”

Jointly funded by the governing body of English football and the Government through Sport England, FA Skills is an accredited football-based physical education programme on offer to children aged 5-11 both in and out of school.

Sir Trevor was instrumental in introducing the programme seven years ago – identifying the improvement of coaching standards for children as key to developing the next generation of  creative players and nourishing sustained enthusiasm and participation within the game across all levels.

Wednesday’s Parliamentary event brings the curtain down on the former West Ham United and England striker’s 47-year association with the beautiful game – having joined the Hammers in 1967.

Having been treated to an FA Skills session in New Palace Yard against the historic backdrop of the Houses of Parliament along with other attendees, Javid added: “FA Skills has taken football to vast numbers of children right across the country who have benefited from sessions with dedicated coaches.

“FA Skills has taken football to vast numbers of children”

Sajid Javid MP

“Playing sport can have a huge impact on young people from improving health, boosting confidence and encouraging team work. Much credit goes to Sir Trevor Brooking for the vision he had setting up FA Skills and I thank him for all he has done at the governing body.”

As he bid farewell to his role, Brooking spoke of his pride at seeing the initiative go from strength-to-strength.

He said: “The FA Skills programme has gone from strength to strength and I’m hugely proud that we have been able to offer six million places so far.

“The programme is not only a great way to introduce football to children of all abilities, but it also helps increase teachers’ confidence with transferable tips, advice and support – ensuring that football and physical education is rewarding, fun and confidence-building to all those that participate.”