Barnstaple-born professional footballer George Friend will be returning to North Devon next month to support North Devon Hospice.

The Middlesbrough defender will be running a coaching session and question and answer forum for young footballers at Park School on Friday, June 8.

The session will not only be a chance to learn some top training tips, but also an opportunity to learn about life as a pro. There will also be a chance to get autographs and have photos taken.

The 30-year-old said: “I don’t get back to North Devon very often and wanted to do something that would support the hospice as well as young local players.

“I remember what it was like training every week in Barnstaple and it was always brilliant when older players came and encouraged us.

“What the hospice does is vital for patients and families who are facing life-limiting illnesses.

“My first manager at Exeter City, Eamonn Dolan, died of cancer in 2016. He was a great man and hugely encouraging to me and also we lost Stanno [Adam Stansfield] too.

“You don’t forget people who have been influential in your life and supporting the hospice is a continuing way of saying thank you for them too.”

The open training session will run from 4pm to 6pm. All young players are welcome to attend in return for a £1 donation to the hospice per child and a £5 donation for accompanying adults.

Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.