Bird and Jackson visit Darton Primary School

Pupils at Darton Primary School were treated to a visit from Barnsley FC players Jared Bird and Adam Jackson this afternoon.

The Reds duo made their way around classes from the whole school, answering questions, signing autographs and taking part in a penalty shoot-out.

For one pupil, the visit was particularly special as the avid Barnsley fan got to meet two of his heroes on his birthday.

Reds midfielder Jared spoke about how much he enjoyed the visit and making a child’s birthday even more special through meeting him.

He said: “It’s been good. Obviously, the kids are excited that we’re coming down. It’s good to come and see them and sign some shirts. When you’re a kid you’re wanting to be a footballer and you’re looking up to all these footballers. I never got the chance for them to come into my school but them looking up to us when we go into their school is great. It’s a coincidence that it was his birthday, so we’ve signed his shirt and had a picture with him – I hope it’s made his day!”

Reds in the Community coaches operate in Darton Primary on a weekly basis, running the Premier League Primary Stars programme.

Head Teacher Jo Lancett was delighted to see the link between football and education strengthened through the visit and spoke about the importance of footballers making a difference in the community.

She said: “It’s brilliant. The kids have been really excited knowing that they were coming in today and it’s been nice to have that alongside the Premier League Primary Stars project that we’ve been doing. It’s made a really big difference. To have key players, that they were really excited to meet, come in to sign autographs and have a penalty shoot-out is a brilliant experience and it’s one we’re really grateful for.

“These are people who are role models to a lot of the children. The football club is important to them, it’s important to the community. It’s a big part of what they do. To have the link between education and football established through this programme is really important and really beneficial.”