Future of the game relies on message hitting home

Child refugees: more cash is needed from the government

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Chris Kamara has made much of his life. From a humble beginning in Middlesbrough he achieved much as a football player and then a manager. Today he’s one of the best-known – and most well-loved – pundits in the game.

And that’s why it’s great to see someone of his standing giving something back to society.

The fact that Kammy has returned to Portsmouth, the city where he kicked off his playing career all those years ago, makes it all the more special.

Fans who tune in to see the Sky Sports presenter regularly will already be familiar with his inimitable style. We’re sure the pupils from Cottage Grove Primary School, in Southsea, enjoyed seeing his enthusiasm in action for themselves yesterday.

The message he was here to get across was a simple one – have respect for yourself and each other.

Workshops like this didn’t exist when tough-tackling Kammy was a player. But that doesn’t make his message any less powerful and we applaud him, npower, The Football League Trust and Pompey for getting behind the Home Team Heroes initiative.

It’s vital that this next generation of football fans understands the importance of respect because it’s something our national game lacks at times.

Everyone has seen players behaving in an appalling fashion – both on and off the pitch. There’s no need to list the offenders, we all know who they are and it’s sad to see that petulant incidents are no longer few and far between. We all see the disgusting antics of some of the managers too, and the greed that seems to motivate some of those operating within the game.

When our children watch football they see it too and that’s why schemes such as this one are so important.

Children often learn by example which means footballers must take their responsibilities as role models seriously.

It’s clear Kammy had fun during his visit to the school. We’re sure what he was striving to get across about teamwork, commitment, good behaviour and respect will stay with the pupils he met for a long time to come.