Arsenal legend helps out Ampthill schoolchildren

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Football boss Terry Neill has come out of retirement to help a group of Ampthill schoolchildren.

The former Tottenham, Arsenal and Northern Ireland manager was this week installed as ‘Special Football Advisor’ at Russell Lower School after a cheeky request from a local dad.

Neill, 70, played for Arsenal during the 1960s and went on to manage Hull and Spurs before returning to the Gunners as boss.

There, he led them to FA Cup glory in 1979, beating Manchester United 3-2 in one of the greatest-ever Wembley finals.

Neill told the Times and Citizen: “This was a no-brainer.

“My friend’s children both attend Russell and he wanted to get involved – in turn he asked if I could help him and I was delighted to.

“I have devised a training programme especially for the younger pupils at the school and will be getting regular updates.

“It’s really all about the children having fun and enjoying their Saturday morning football – that is the main aim,” added Neill, who hopes to take a coaching session next year, workload permitting.

Dad Jem Maidment, who approached Neill, will kick off sessions for Year 1 boys and girls shortly.

Maidment, from Saunders Piece, Ampthill, said: “I have known him for a few years and was hoping he would help.

“But he has bowled me over with his response and has even secured some kit and equipment for us – he has been so enthusiastic.

“Having Terry assisting us can only help the children and raise the profile of the school.”

Russell headteacher Jane Sealey added: “I was brought up in a football-mad house and so to have someone like Terry, with all his experience, helping us is a real coup.

“Any parents who want their sons and daughters to get involved should contact the school.”