‘Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t’ - Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips issues advice to wannabe England football stars as he is presented with prized Blue Peter badge

Kalvin Phillips encouraged aspiring young footballers to ‘train hard’ and ‘enjoy yourself’ as he and Blue Peter joined a McDonald’s Fun Football session at the Leeds United star’s boyhood club Wortley FC earlier this year.

By Flora Snelson
Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 12:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 12:18 pm

Blue Peter presenter Richie Driss awarded Phillips with his very own Blue Peter badge for his service to Gareth’s Southgate’s England team, who reached the EURO 2020 final this summer - which the Yorkshireman remembers as a “mad few weeks” - and for his continued commitment to helping children at grassroots level.

The pair joined a McDonald’s Fun Football session at Wortley FC, where Phillips started playing at the age of nine, to hand out badges to young players who were all amazed to see their favourite England hero up close.

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In a special segment on Blue Peter, Phillips told Driss what it means to him to get younger players interested in football.

“It’s massively important [to get the next generation into the game],” Phillips said. “Coming here and meeting the kids is important to me, because I remember when I was younger I would have loved to have met a football player.”

The 25-year-old then took part in a Blue Peter challenge, whereby he was asked a series of quickfire questions while juggling a football.

As Leeds’ number 23 did kick-ups, Driss quizzed him with ‘either/or’ questions, and Whites fans may be pleased to learn that Phillips prefers Lionel Messi to Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, and when choosing between playing at Elland Road or away, the midfielder didn’t hesitate.

Phillips also shared that he prefers attacking to defending, which comes as some surprise from a player who has made his name on the national stage for his bullish tackling and ability to cut out opponents’ attacks.

At the end of the challenge, Driss asked the England star to share three tips for footballers who dream of one day representing the Three Lions.

“Enjoy yourself when you play football,” Phillips said.

“Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it.

Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips hands out Blue Peter badges at his boyhood club. Pic: McDonalds.

“And train hard.”

The current registrations for Fun Football end this month, to find your local session head to mcdonalds.co.uk/football.

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Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips chats to Blue Peter host Richie Driss. Pic: McDonalds.