He said: “My church, Renewal, was looking for a way of connecting with young people in local schools, so I started the club.”

Bailey played for Birmingham City, QPR and Gillingham, as well as a whole host of other clubs before joining Stratford.

He said: “Football is also a great medium for encouraging kids to take responsibility and work as a team. It builds confidence and leadership, on and off the pitch.”

Anyone aged 8-15 who wants to play should go to the Ken Kennet Centre, Hodgsons Green, Justin’s Avenue in Stratford at 3pm on Sundays.

The sessions – which are free thanks to the sponsorship from Stratford Town Trust – last for an hour and run for the next 6 weeks.