Football coach recognised for community work

Darren Shenton will run at the Olympic Park this Saturday.
Darren Shenton will run at the Olympic Park this Saturday. Photo: ITV Central

Fenton Town is not a club which will regularly be found topping the league.

Neither is it likely to be the home of the next David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo.

But what Fenton Town has achieved is arguably more profound and long lasting.

The team is managed by Darren Shenton.

He decided at the age of 17 that many youngsters were being excluded from football because of their perceived lack of skill.

Convinced of the potential social benefits of the game, he set out to encourage more people to get involved.

Many of the youngsters who join are experiencing difficulties in their lives.

Darren on the football pitch
Darren on the football pitch Credit: ITV Central

Fenton is not a socially advantaged area of Stoke-on-Trent, and many teenagers find themselves involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Those who have been taken on by Fenton FC describe how the club helped steer them away from bad behaviour, by giving them a focus, and self worth.

Darren was nominated for tomorrow’s National Lottery Olympic Park Run by his mother, who wanted his efforts in the community to be recognised.

Darren was awarded for his bravery for saving people from a house fire
Darren was awarded for his bravery for saving people from a house fire Credit: ITV Central

It is not the first time that his actions have been highlighted.

Three years ago he was given a commendation by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service after risking his own life to save three people from a burning building.

Darren says his squad have been helping to get him into shape for the big day and he is excited to be taking part.