Clarets legend Martin Dobson is to become an ambassador for a programme designed to help to give Burnley’s young people a better life.
The former Burnley and Everton midfielder was keen to support STREETS of Burnley – which stands for Sports to Radically Educate Everyone to Succeed – after managing director John Magee got in touch.
STREETS is a nationally accredited multi-sports mentoring programme, recognised by AQA – an awarding educational body in the UK – and is designed to help young people understand the consequences of risk-taking behaviour and the value of education.
“Martin was only too pleased to help,” said John, who will be working in partnership with Burnley University Technical College (UTC), based at the Weavers’ Triangle.
“He was going to become an apprentice engineer before he became a footballer – Burnley UTC specialises in engineering and construction – so he wants to support children in the community as well as Burnley UTC.”
Martin, whose brother runs the family firm Thomas F Dobson Engineering Ltd in Blackburn, said: “John told me about his background – about how he used to be involved in gang related crime and how he turned his life around – and so he is the perfect person to deliver his message and help children in Burnley.”
John said: “It’s all about using sport and mentoring as a vehicle and the hook to help children understand the consequences. I want to help them fulfill their aspirations and full potential. It also strengthens their sense of team work and respect for themselves and others.”
John aims to train an ex-professional footballer to deliver STREETS in the Burnley area from September.
“I am in talks with the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) and Football League Trust about my vision – Burnley is the first step.”