Scotland captain Andy Robertson has been named as an ambassador for a charity which uses football to help the homeless.
The Liverpool player has given his backing to Street Soccer Scotland, which supports people who have experienced homelessness, mental health problems, addiction and long-term unemployment.
The initiative, set up by David Duke in 2009, gives people a platform to make positive changes in their lives through their love of football.
It has helped more than 10,000 people through football-themed training and personal development opportunities.
Robertson said: “I spoke to David quite a lot about the charity and where he started it and how it has got to where it is now, and I loved the idea of it.
“Big names like Sir Alex Ferguson have supported it so it’s not bad to follow in his footsteps.
“I know that football can bring so many people together and this charity has shown that.
“It’s amazing to see the hard work that is paying off in your home town and home country and it’s a charity that is doing a lot of good work for a lot of people that need it.”
The 26-year-old Glaswegian added: “So many people aren’t as lucky as we are.
“We are so privileged to play football and be able to show our skills and get well paid for it, but I know people aren’t as fortunate and I know people need help.
“When I am in a fortunate position where I am can help out then I will always look to do it.
“I’m from a working-class family and my mum and dad tried to give me and my brother everything they had but probably racking up a credit-card bill at the time.
“These things I never take for granted.
“I know a lot of people are struggling and unfortunately at this time it will only probably got worse.
“So that’s why I always try to give back and I will continue to do so and that’s why I am supporting this charity.
“Whether you’re struggling financially or battling with your mental health or an addiction, it’s so important to know there is help out there.”
Street Soccer Scotland has adapted its services during the pandemic by working with food hubs and providing its players with mobile phones so they can maintain contacts while self-isolating.
Mr Duke said: “Before lockdown, we were delivering over 40 weekly programmes in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
“When the restrictions were announced, we knew the devastating impact this could have on our players without the social interaction they were getting through football, especially on their mental health, so we assessed what we could do to make sure they were safe, secure, healthy and connected.
“We are delighted to welcome Andy to the Street Soccer family.
“I’ve worked with him a lot over the last few months – he is a good guy with a big heart.”
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