Back to school for Jack Collison as football star returns to Shefford

Jack Collison

Jack Collison - Credit: Archant

A former Premier League player says he was honoured to ‘give something back’ to Shefford when he set up a soccer school at his former school during half term.

Jack Collison takes part in some of the coaching drills

Jack Collison takes part in some of the coaching drills - Credit: Archant

Jack Collison, who left Ipswich Town due to injury in December and previously played for West Ham, said: “The training school has been fantastic. It’s nice to come back to Robert Bloomfield – they’ve been so generous and supportive. It’s been funny seeing everyone I grew up with round the town. When I went out to collect the medals for the kids, I was saying ‘Hi’ to everyone in the street.

“I wish they had this type of thing when I was younger, I’d have loved it.”

The footballer was joined by former Hammers goalkeeper David Blackmore to coach the children, aged five to eight.

Jack, whose contract with Ipswich Town wasn’t renewed due to injury, is now back training on his own and hoping to get back into playing professionally in a few weeks.

Training the young players brought back early memories for Jack, who said he was inspired by his dad to play the beautiful game.

The 26-year-old said: “I’d pester him for ages to play with me. I had a football with me pretty much 24/7.”

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Sadly his father died in 2009 in a motorbike accident, but Jack bravely played in a League Cup tie just two days later.

The 26-year-old already has plans to run another soccer school in Shefford at Easter.

Former Ipswich Town youth player Russell Sort helped set up the soccer school. He said: “You can’t beat playing, but coaching is the next best thing. Hopefully one of the children will be the next Jack Collison.”