A FORMER international footballer will be passing on his soccer skills to budding sports stars from Ellesmere Port.

Northern Ireland legend David Campbell, who in his day was hailed as ‘the next George Best’, was devastated when he suffered a career-halting injury, forcing him into an early retirement.

He decided to turn adversity into an opportunity and set up his own specialist football education programme, passing on his skills to up-and-coming footballers in Merseyside.

Launched six years ago, David Campbell Soccer has become an award-winning organisation which has now expanded to include full-time football education courses across the North West, and in Ireland and the USA.

In early September the courses will be available at Whitby High School and are open to girls and boys aged 16-19, free of charge.

Attendees will learn all aspects of the football industry through class-based and practical activities, and be taught specialised coaching at all levels from children’s football to the premier league, as well as offering formal introductions to careers in coaching.

Marc Garnett, one of the senior coaches at David Campbell Soccer, said it was a fantastic opportunity for youngsters.

“I am very fortunate to be able to talk from experience with regards to the success of these courses, having completed the qualification myself back in 2009,” he said.

“Since then I’ve progressed to become a senior coach and a qualified lecturer and worked with three premier league clubs and coached in the USA and Northern Ireland so I do hope my experience can have a positive affect on young aspiring coaches.

“The courses are Government funded so it’s free for youngsters and can be a fantastic opportunity for those who didn’t get the grades they wanted in their exams.”

David Campbell, who makes regular trips to the various different colleges offering the scheme, said: ‘I am extremely excited to be offering this opportunity to young people as it’s a genuine through-route into a career in football.

“Interest in the course is always massive with life-changing genuine career chances for students age 16-19 who are chosen to take part.”

If you are aged 16-19 and would like more information on the courses which start at Whitby High School in September, call the soccer hotline on 0151 474 8811.