Bellamy giving back

Craig Bellamy has returned from his summer trip to Sierra Leone and the successful launch of the Craig Bellamy Foundation.

The Wales striker had been visiting the African country's capital Freetown as part of his plan to use football as a vehicle for positive social development. Among the launch events were the first soil being cut at the site of his new football Academy, a beach soccer event involving the country's national team and a reception at the British High Commission.

Speaking before his departure, Bellamy told a West Ham United fans forum about his interest in helping the underprivileged in Sierra Leone by establishing a multi-league football system and developing community projects. He revealed he first went to the country a year ago and it was to leave a lasting and profound impression.

"It was breathtaking to be honest," he said. "It was more than I could ever have expected. What I was doing was if I saw a group of kids playing in the street, I would stop off and play with them ... to give something back that is the only way I can do it. I only know football." He added that he thought then about setting up an academy to help the underprivileged and that is what has taken him back to the country this month.

While such football targets spur him on, he will continue to take a strong personal interest in his charitable work for the rest of his life. "It is something I am able to do, I am very privileged. I am very lucky to do it. For me personally, it is the most rewarding thing I can do for a group of people who really deserve it. I am going to be kept busy and it is something I am looking forward to."

To find out more about the Craig Bellamy Foundation, click here