It is a roasting hot summer’s day and a corner of Tottenham’s training ground is teeming with hundreds of young people sporting the colours not just of Spurs but of 27 other current and former Premier League teams. This is not a competition but a celebration of a programme to promote inclusion and improve coaching for people with disabilities, that has attracted hundreds of its coaches and participants to this lovingly manicured corner of Enfield.
It is easy to be sceptical about this kind of scheme, which could be considered a fig-leaf from an organisation whose primary purpose involves funnelling ludicrous, thundering torrents of cash into the pockets of elite sportspeople, and is anyway assisted in funding it by the inevitable corporate sponsor – BT, in this case. But three artificial pitches full of noise, action and flying footballs go a long way towards blowing away such cynicism.
Though John Hartson is on hand to play the role of token ex-pro, the event’s stars are all in full kit. Manchester City’s Jamie…