The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Tom Black­ett

THE EFL Trust’s na­tion­wide dis­abil­ity football pro­gramme, Ev­ery Player Counts, cel­e­brated its oneyear anniversary by hold­ing a football fes­ti­val at Me­di­aCi­tyUk in Sal­ford on Thurs­day, with play­ers and clubs show­cas­ing the pro­gramme in front of spe­cial guests.

Former Eng­land de­fender Danny Mills, ex-Hull man­ager Mike Phe­lan and Bolton striker Aaron Wil­bra­ham were all at the event.

They met par­tic­i­pants from Wi­gan, Fleet­wood, Bolton, Coven­try and Shrews­bury who have been in­volved in the pro­gramme over the past 12 months, with over 50 play­ers tak­ing part on the day.

Funded by the Wem­b­ley Na­tional Sta­dium Trust and the EFL Trust, £1.1 mil­lion in grants, in­clud­ing al­most £200,000 from the EFL Trust, has been do­nated to the Ev­ery Player Counts pro­gramme, with 25 EFL clubs cur­rently de­liv­er­ing the ini­tia­tive across the coun­try.

“Football is the great­est game on the planet, but it is about par­tic­i­pa­tion and that is what makes pro­grammes such as this so ben­e­fi­cial,” said former Manch­ester City de­fender Mills, who helped launch the Ev­ery Player Counts pro­gramme a year ago.

In the first year, more than 3,600 par­tic­i­pants ben­e­fited.

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