EFL Day of Action: How football delivers hope, opportunity and smiles

Albert Adomah
Aston Villa's Albert Adomah hands out hot meals to people in Birmingham

We all read about the stars of the English Football League for their performances and talents on the pitch. But less is known about the work they do in their local communities.

Whether it is Aston Villa winger Albert Adomah dishing up hot meals to those in need in Birmingham, or the Barnsley squad inviting 22 young fans to enjoy 'the day in the life of a footballer' - the EFL's Day of Action has highlighted the work by community projects around the country.

Here are some of the highlights of a busy Tuesday across the 72 league clubs.

Moult's personal experiences lead to helping others

EFL Day of Action: Louis Moult using experiences to help others

Preston striker Louis Moult lost his mother as a teenager to alcoholism, and admits the experience led him to coop himself in his room for a year as he struggled to come to terms with the loss.

He is now a successful footballer, playing in the Championship with a happy family life, but the memories of those tougher times have led him to help others.

Moult works with the North End Community department, volunteering his time at a homeless charity in the city.

"My mum was incredible, very loving, but the alcohol got the better of her." Moult told BBC Breakfast.

"When I see other people going through similar situations, I'm very sympathetic. Preston North End as a club is very good with the community, I worked with the Foxton Centre in Preston. They're incredible.

"I'm very lucky to sit with my fiancee and two kids, I've got them and they're there for me. I feel places like the Foxton Centre give people an opportunity to speak and get hope. Just to have a friend."

Early start for the Rams' walking footballers

EFL Day of Action: Derby County fans on walking football

The visit of the BBC Breakfast team made for an early wake-up call for the Derby County Community Trust's walking footballers, assembling from 04:30 GMT to ensure their appearance in front of the cameras.

Their reward was the chance to sit in the dugout at Pride Park. Many members have overcome serious illnesses to keep up their involvement in the sport.

"The football club and the football is what brought us all together," Les from the team said.

"I've always wanted to play for Derby County," David added. "It was my boyhood ambition and now I play football for Derby County, it's amazing."

What dreams are made of.

A Knight's tale at Pompey community event

Alan Knight
Alan Knight oversees a bit of cookery as part of Portsmouth's Day of Action events

Alan Knight made a successful career out of stopping shots and claiming crosses as goalkeeper at Portsmouth, making more than 800 career appearances across four decades.

However it was chopping knives and wielding pans for him at Pompey's healthy home cooking course in the club's kitchen classroom.

The project works to help people, including those recently divorced or bereaved, who have never cooked on a budget and hopefully make new friends.

Disability team gets a lift from Luton Town

Mick Harford and fan Damian at Luton's Day of Action event
Boss Mick Harford got into the spirit as Luton's first team trained with the disability squad

There is not a lot better for a footballer than getting to run about with your heroes, and that is what happened for members of Luton's Every Player Counts Adult disability squad, when captain Sonny Bradley and James Shea turned up for a kick-about.

In attendance were around 40 members of the disability side, while Hatters' first-team boss Mick Harford was also on hand.

"It's inspirational to see the guys out there running around," Harford told the club website.external-link "They don't get a lot of time outdoors and they come here and they do inspire me and everyone else in the town. It's a real special day.

"I know they train on a weekly basis, but this is the annual EFL Day of Action to showcase what the Community Trust do, and it's great to see them having a good time. I'm honoured to be in attendance."

Sonny Bradley
Skipper Sonny Bradley was one of the Luton Town first-team to help out at the session

The gaffer gets into it at Birmingham City

Blues boss Monk helps dish up food for the homeless

As well as running projects on the Day of Action itself, clubs such as Birmingham City have been involved in community projects in the lead-up to Tuesday.

Similar to Adomah and Villa across the city, the Blues in tandem with former Blues player Geoff Horsfield's foundation, had boss Garry Monk out in Birmingham to help serve food to the homeless.

The club also run a workshop to help degree students make their most of their qualifications by gaining paid employment.

Nutmegged by the keeper at Tranmere

Tranmere Rovers
Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper Scott Davies had no mercy for walking footballer Dot

The Tranmere Rovers womens' walking football team were given a surprise visit by first-team players David Perkins and Scott Davies - and the lads could not help getting involved in the session.

Davies could not resist a cheeky nutmeg, rolling the ball through the legs of player Dot.external-link

However, she did get her own back when she scored past the Rovers number one a little later on.

"The ladies come and play walking football once a week, so it's nice to come down and see how much fun they have," Davies said.

"That's what it's all about, these are the people who pay our wages, so to give a bit back is great."

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