Dyer and Bellamy get involved

Kieron Dyer and Craig Bellamy are the latest West Ham United players to support the Premier League community initiative Creating Chances.

The duo went along to the English Martyrs RC Primary School in south London to promote the d:side service - an interactive drug and alcohol education programme for children and young people, that encourages them to make positive, informed decisions about their lifestyles.

At the school, Dyer and Bellamy were made captains of two opposing teams of children. They were then asked a series of questions related to the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and were given a few minutes to confer with their team before submitting answers. It was a close call, but Dyer's team just edged it by one point after correctly acknowledging the legal age to buy cigarettes had risen to 18.

The quiz was followed by an open question and answer session when the two players were grilled by the ten and eleven-year olds about why they became players, who their inspirations were, their opinion on the penalty for drug taking in sport, what their diets were like and the best thing about being a footballer.

The duo stayed behind to sign photos for all the children before explaining how such experiences gave them the opportunity to put their positions as role models to good use. "I am more than happy to do things like this as I know it has a real impact on the kids we are addressing," said Bellamy. "Football has really changed since we were younger and if we had had footballers come to our school to warn us about the dangers of certain things it would have made a big difference."

Dyer added: "John Barnes was my idol when I was growing up and if he had come to my school to give advice I would have listened to everything he said and taken it on board as that is how much I worshipped him. Some people may have thought Craig and myself were an odd choice to come and speak to the kids but we both hold ours hands up and admit we have made mistakes along the way but that is why we were the perfect people to come here today because we can speak to these children from experience and stop them making the same mistakes."