FORMER Manchester United and Burnley youngster John Cofie has gone ‘home’ to where it all started after hanging up his boots earlier this year.

The 27-year-old – once the youngest ever £1million signing – has accepted a role as a coach and mentor at Clitheroe’s Moorland School.

And it sees him team up again with head of football development Charlie Jackson – the man who played a key role in launching his football career from the age of 10.

The Ghanaian born ex-England youth international was most recently playing in the Philippines but decided at the start of 2020 it was time to call it a day.

Now he hopes the next generation of budding stars can learn from some of the experiences he had and the mistakes he made.

Cofie said: “I came back after some time in Australia a few months ago and had a chat with my mum.

"I told her that I didn’t want to play football anymore. I did a mentoring course and there was something in my heart telling to come here and have a meeting with Charlie. He was really important part of my career.

“So here I am, and it feels great to be back at Moorland – I’m really loving it. 

“Hopefully, my story can touch people and help. There are lots of mistakes I have made that I can help others avoid.

“As well as coaching football I’ll be talking to the kids about how to live their lives. I’d like it if people could learn from my experiences.”

Cofie first attended Moorland at the age of 10 and was snapped up by Burnley a couple of years later before quickly attracting interest from Liverpool and Chelsea.

In November 2007, at the age of 14, he was signed by United for a fee of £1.2m and spent the next six years on the books at Old Trafford.

During that time, he worked with current Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was in the same year group as Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison.

He also played for Royal Antwerp, Sheffield United and Notts County along with several non-league clubs but is now looking to write a new chapter. 

Key to getting him back to Moorland was highly-regarded coach Jackson, who has worked at Moorland since 2002.

In the last nine years, 12 players who have worked under him have gone on to make their debuts in the professional game – including former Moorland pupils Joe Grayson and Stefan Mols, both of Blackburn Rovers.

United and Scotland ace Scott McTominay is another who was set on the road to stardom by Jackson – who also runs the Matrix Soccer Academy. 

Jackson was working at United while Cofie was there and the pair have remained friends ever since. He believes his return to Moorland will be a real benefit to the children.

Jackson said: “Obviously I’ve followed John’s career closely and for me between the ages of 14 and 18 he was better than Paul Pogba. He had more to his game.

“He was one of the most naturally technical and athletically gifted players that I have ever worked with. 

“The work ethic was always there – I’m just not sure his managers really got him and he also had a difficult time with injuries. 

“There’s a lot he can tell the kids, passing on his knowledge from what he went through - and I’m convinced he can make a difference for them.

“I really think it’s huge to have him board here at Moorland.

“Watching him grow has been inspirational. I am learning from him as well but he can give these kids a chance. He just wants to give something back. “