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Foody footy

What they know about football could be scrawled on the underside of Jose Mourinho's pet terrier, but that hasn't stopped 80 dinner ladies in Bolsover, Derbyshire, being trained as football coaches under a pioneering scheme.

"Dinner ladies generally know very little about football," admitted the scheme's founder, Paul Cooper, with a pundit's flair for stating the blindingly obvious.

"In many ways this makes them better than professional coaches for encouraging the game in the background."

Whereas strapping PE teachers risked intimidating less sporty children, no one was likely to be daunted by the sight of a dinner lady roaming the penalty box, Mr Cooper explained.

"Children develop well if they are free to develop," he said. "Even big clubs understand you won't get another Pele or Gazza without children being able to explore the game for themselves."

Next stop, Flan United.

* Interested schools can contact Give Us Back Our Game at

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