BUSINESSES from Blackburn are being encouraged to get their football boots on for a good cause.

The town’s Youth Zone and its ambassador, Rovers’ player David Dunn, are championing a high-class kick-about at Ewood Park.

The Big Kick is offering 12 teams of 15 the chance to play a tournament at Ewood Park, receive management training and be wined and dined at The Northcote at the Rovers.

Each player should raise £200 in sponsorship, amassing a total of £35,000, all of which will go to the young people’s resource centre.

Midfielder and Great Harwood native, Mr Dunn, said: “Quite a lot of young lads, and some girls, dream of playing football professionally, so this is a great opportunity for people to experience the life.

“Running out on to the pitch is pretty amazing, with the atmosphere and the history.

“I know the night before I first walked out on to there I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited. But the main thing is to raise money for such a good place for local kids to go. It gives them something healthy and fun to do and keeps them off the streets.

“The staff are tremendous and there’s so much to do, we’re really lucky around here to have such a place.

“That’s why I’m the ambassador here, because it’s important to the town to keep this place running.”

It costs the centre £1million per year to stay open, and as a registered charity, it is solely reliant on donations. Peter Little, chief executive at the Youth Zone, said: “Everybody who came to the day last year absolutely loved it.

“They’ve all signed up again this year so we must be doing something right.

“The teams brought their families to watch so there was a real buzz all along the bottom side of the stadium.

“Nobody in the tournament is a professional athlete, so seeing the people who weren’t quite fit enough was quite funny.

“We had beautiful sunshine last year too so it was a great day.”

This year’s Big Kick is on Saturday, May 25. To register, or for details, call Laura Jones on 01254 292000 or email laura.jones