England star and former Sunderland AFC goalkeeper Jordan Pickford reveals the two men that 'made him grow up'

England World Cup hero and former Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has thanked two of his football favourites who have helped him in his own career.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 2:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 2:58 pm
England player Jordan Pickford has shared thank you message as part of The FA's 21 Days of Positivity.

The campaign, which launched last week, has seen the FA share thank you messages from England stars across its social media channels.

England player Jordan Pickford has shared thank you message as part of The FA's 21 Days of Positivity.

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The effort is part of the FA’s wider Respect campaign, which aims to improve touchline and on-pitch behaviour in youth football across the country.

It will run for 21 days, which is said to be the period of time it takes to enact a behavioural change and form a habit.

Research from The FA shows that 90% of youth footballers perform better with positive encouragement.

In support of the effort, Pickford - whose penalty heroics helped keep England in the World Cup against Columbia - has taken to Twitter to thank both Mark Prudhoe and Kevin Ball.

He said: "Thank you to Mark Prudhoe and Kevin Ball for the positive impact they have had on my career so far.

"They were great to me when I was a young kid and made me grow up."

The campaign asks parents and coaches involved in youth football to commit to being positive in their approach and to share their positive stories on social media with #WeOnlyDoPositive.

As well as Pickford, a host of other stars from the England men’s, women’s and disability football teams have also shown their support to the campaign by appearing together in a new video.

Those taking part include England Men’s Ross Barkley and Jesse Lingard, England Women’s Toni Duggan and England Blind squad member Azeem Amir, who all talk openly about how positive encouragement impacted them at a young age, benefiting their lives and careers.

Across the 21 Days, coaches will receive emails from The FA including hints, tips and insight in to three key themes; ‘positive environment’, ‘positive practices’ and ‘positive players’.