• Knowsley & St Helens Combined Schools football team now be allowed to continue to play

    I am delighted to see that the Knowsley & St Helens Combined Schools football team will now be allowed to continue to play as one team until at least the end of the season.

    Alongside council and parliamentary colleagues from Knowsley and St Helens, I raised concerns with the English Schools FA about the decision to abruptly stop recognising the joint team, thereby depriving young people from our boroughs of the chance to play competitive sport. While it is a disappointment that they are still unable to play in this year’s national competition, it is good news that the boys can continue to play together at a local level. I will be lobbying the English Schools FA to allow the team to continue on a fully recognised basis into the future.

    Grassroots football – particularly at youth level – is vital to the future of the game, so this decision is good news and I would like to pay tribute to all the local players, schools, clubs and parents who championed the young footballers’ case which led to this u-turn.