Rachel Yankey, one of England’s most capped footballers, joins forces with the best-known voice in football, John Motson, and some energetic young helpers for Footy Pups.
Starting Monday 25 May at 4.30pm with episode one, this innovative new CBeebies show will delight parents and children as Rachel and five animated Footy Pups encourage a new generation of sports stars. Focusing on the nation’s favourite game - football - she’ll be putting the fun back into kids’ football and celebrating a game that’s all about passing, thinking, developing skills and playing as a team.
In each episode a group of children learn a new skill from Rachel, then follow the pups on an animated adventure where they put their newfound skill into practice, competing in an animal league against rival teams including the hippos of Potamus Hotspur, the cheetahs of Spottingham Forest and the piggies of Snouthampton FC.
Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies says: “I love CBeebies, I love football and we’re all about teaching youngsters news skills in a fun way, so Footy Pups is something I’m very proud of and can't wait to see on screen. Rachel Yankey is not only a superstar footballer, but the most enthusiastic and natural host with the kids, who love joining in and playing the games and are sure to get our youngest viewers and their parents up on their feet and playing together. It is a real coup to have John Motson on board, such an eminent voice of the sport and great fun to work with on the voiceovers. And not forgetting the pups themselves, a loveable 5-a-side team guaranteed to get anyone engaged.”
Meet Rachel Yankey OBE
Rachel Yankey has played football in two World Cups, three European Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games, and is passionate about kids and sport, especially when it comes to introducing them to football!
Rachel first played football at the age of eight and was immediately entranced, loving the energy and team work of the game. She realised she had quite a talent aged 16 and officially signed and started playing full time for Fulham in 2000, which made her the first professional female footballer in England.
Today Rachel plays for the English FA Women’s Super League One club Arsenal, and frequently for England – she made her England debut in 1997. She’s considered one of the England national side’s all-time greats and won her 100th cap three years ago, scoring against Japan at the World Cup.
As well as playing professional football Rachel regularly coaches and teaches football at various schools in and around London. She jumped at the chance of fronting Footy Pups and has had great fun making the programme.
Rachel’s top tips for getting youngsters into Football/making football fun include:
Keep it simple
Remember football is for everyone, so everyone join in the games, both mums and dads, boys and girls
Lots of fun repetition develops skills faster
Encourage the feeling of camaraderie and being part of a team
Support a local or favourite football club
Meet John Motson
John Motson is one of the most eminent and recognisable voices in football, having been a commentator for over 45 years on television and radio. John has commentated on World Cups, European Championships as well as the Premier League and pretty much every league there is…so a chance to be part of the Footy Pups League was something he just couldn’t pass up!
John is a great supporter of getting young people into the magic of football and sport, and most parents will recognise his distinctive voice, transporting them back to some of football’s greatest moments and providing the most fitting commentary for all the Footy Pups action.
Meet the Pups
Rozzie Rover - Winger: Rozzie the Dalmatian knocks spots off the opposition. She has a nose for trouble (and for delicious doggy treats).
Benny Barkham - striker. Benny’s a loyal golden Labrador whose star skill is chasing balls (and his tail), and when the team are in trouble, you can always rely on him to come up with a puppy plan.
Geraldine Growlville - Defender. This plucky little chihuahua wins the ball every time with signature moves like her double back-flip.
Rex Dogden - Midfield. Rex the Poodle dribbles like the ball is glued to his feet, but he can’t resist a good roll in a muddy puddle.
Pickles Kennelworth - goalie. Very little gets past Pickles the Bulldog when he’s in goal – unless he’s been distracted by a juicy bone that is.
Footballing legend (and flea) Freddy is the pups’ manager, and brings a wealth of footballing skill and knowledge from his glory days as Fleads United’s star striker.