Former Chelsea footballer gives a masterclass at Harlesden school
- Credit: Archant
Young people in Harlesden with dreams of football stardom were given the chance to kick a ball with a former Chelsea star.
Bilal Eddie Newton, coach for the youth development programme at Chelsea Football Club and former Chelsea FC player was at the Newman Catholic College in Harlesden Road during the February half term holidays to give a masterclass to young sporting fans.
The event was organised by Ismael Lea South, a local youth and community worker.
He said: “I’ve seen many young promising footballers lose opportunities to become footballers due to bad company, lack of encouragement, being dropped from professional academies or being sent on the wrong track by people who didn’t know what they were doing.”
Following a chance meeting with Mr Newton at a youth empowerment event, Mr Smith talked to him about hosting a Football Master-Class once every two months in Harlesden.
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Mr Newton first joined Chelsea as a 13-year-old and came through the ranks to make 214 first team appearances.
He won the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup medals.
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Mr South added: “Due to popular demand from local young people who wanted constructive and relevant advice on how to become better footballers, life skills and good advice and the chance meeting with Eddie who agreed as he knows about the realities of Harlesden, we were able to put on the event.
With support from KES ((Kreative Education Solution) Near Neighbours, The Salam Project & Ealing Town FC to provide sponsorship and logistic support, he promoted the event via social networks and posters around the community.
He said: “I have been humbled by the great response from young people in the community. We hope to keep this going as this is the 3rd one now.”