>> PUPIL: Once upon a time Mr Whelan was a footballer.
>> PUPIL: He played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough.
>> PUPIL: When his career was over he wondered what to do
>> PUPIL: And that's when he decided.
>> CLASS: To become a teacher!
>> COMMENTATOR: Off the bar! What an incredible series
of let-offs. It has gone in now!
Middlesbrough are level and it's
Phil Whelan who got it!
>> PHIL: I'd had a few operations on my knee and my body was
just getting a bit older. All of a sudden I thought,
'what am I going to do?' A good Friend of mine was a
headteacher and was running a teacher training
course down in Southend which was my last club and
he said, 'come along for a few days into my school,
see what you think'. I went into the school,
absolutely loved it and that was it.
>> NARRATOR: Phil Whelan's connection with the game he
left lives on. After signing his school up to the Premier
League Primary Stars programme, he knows the skills
developed as a professional footballer, can transfer to
future generations in every walk of life.
>> PHIL: You're going to enter the workplace at some point and
it's unlikely you're going to work on your own. At some
point in your life, whatever your job is, you're going to
have to contribute to a team so developing those skills
is very important. If we can teach the importance of
relationships and show children how to get on with
each other and how important it is to get on with each
other, support and help each other on a day-to-day
basis, again, I think that's going to help them moving
It's just the enthusiasm, the passion, the energy that
the children have got, it's infectious.
You can't help but buy in to it.
To say thank you.
>> PHIL: Aww, how nice is that. Fantastic, that's nice isn't it.
>> PHIL: Knowing about the motivation, the perseverance that's
needed to survive those skills are very important and
can only really be learnt from experience. Whether
that's from sport, from football, or from any other
background. I think there's a massive amount that
ex-footballers can bring to schools.
To see the children grow and develop and to help to
support and nurture them is really rewarding and I
think the actual personal rewards, sometimes with
football you almost feel like you're doing it for
somebody else. Whereas with teaching you get that
even though the most important thing is the children,
seeing the children grow, it gives you a good feeling
inside to know that actually you've contributed to their
lives in a positive way.