A CHORLEY futsal club celebrated its first year in style with a celebration of skills by world freestyle champion John Farnworth.

Athletico Buckshaw started in February last year with just six players and now the club has expanded with more than 70 players registered on their books.

More than 100 kids packed out the Filling Factory on Ordnance Road in Buckshaw Village and learned tricks and flicks from the champion.

The 33-year-old had the children aged from six to 11 on the edge of their seats and wowed the crowds with his close control… even with his bottom.

John said: “The main part of the workshop was to engage them to work hard and enjoy their football and futsal and have fun.

“These skills will help them make decisions and they are developing not just as players but as people too.”

Athletico Buckshaw chairman Rhenden Pillay has masterminded the project, trying to offer opportunities for the young people to take up one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.

Futsal places a large emphasis on individual and technical skills and ability in situations of high intensity and pressure. It also puts the players under constant pressure and demands quick-thinking so players develop and improve.

The English FA has placed a lot of emphasis on growing the sport as part of the national strategy by getting more players participating.

Children come from Chorley, Leyland, Buckshaw Village and Euxton to take part in their sessions on a weekly basis.

Rhenden said: “The kids were inspired by John’s determination to never give up on his dreams and Athletico Buckshaw believes that the kids of Buckshaw are the future.

“There are over 500 youngsters living on Buckshaw and our vision is for every one of them to learn this fun, fast-paced sport.

“On social media people talk about our #futsalheart so what better way to show our love for sport than this before Valentine’s Day?”

Meanwhile John is looking forward to his own challenge of crossing the Sahara Desert juggling a football with every step in an attempt to set his most ambitious record yet.

The keepy-up king is undertaking the mammoth challenge to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley.

The amazing feat will see children’s TV personality John travelling 100km (more than 60 miles) over some of the world’s highest sand dunes, in searing 40-degree heat. And all while keeping a ball in the air.

He said: “My aim is to raise £50,000 because the charity needs so much money to run.”

“I have been down there and they are doing a fantastic job.

“I am creating T-shirts for my followers on social media to buy so they can feel part of it.”

Liam Morrow, owner of the Filling Factory was delighted by the success.

He said: “It is nice to be able to do something different that will include kids and families and it is good for Buckshaw.

“I love football and always have done. We had a great atmosphere during the World Cup with families coming down and it is great to see this.”

n Find out more about Athletico Buckshaw at www.athleticobuckshawfc.co.uk