An ex-professional football player turned coach hopes to continue creating more junior football teams for his town.

Dan Kirkup, 33, of Haltwhistle but originally from Haydon Bridge, is the owner of DK Football Coaching which he 'stumbled' into setting up after seeing there were no junior football teams in Haltwhistle.

"Two years ago there were currently no junior football teams at all, which is criminal for a town the size of Haltwhistle," Dan said.

"I was only really doing a bit of 1-2-1 coaching with a young lad in Haltwhistle to help build him some confidence up, and word got out that I was coaching and more people wanted it for their children, so decided to set up as a business.

"I have seen parents leaving Haltwhistle to take their children to other places to get their kids a game of football so decided upon myself to get things in motion and get kids football teams back here."

"So I enlisted the help of Ken Williamson and Michael Parker who helped create junior teams. So far it has been a success and there are currently two junior teams and another one ready to go in the summer taking the total to three."

Currently, Dan works at a chemical manufacturer but is still playing football at a semi-professional level.

He believes that his years of playing football professionally and his experience of coaching in New Zealand can continue to help young players.

Dan said: "When I played in New Zealand I had done a lot of coaching out there as well as in schools and academies.

"That’s where I first found that I loved coaching and the reward of working and making children better footballers.

"I have played with some unbelievable players over the last 16 years and worked under some amazing elite coaches in the game which I have learned and picked up lots of stuff along the way.

"The coaching business has continued to grow and grow and the Haltwhistle Leisure Centre has been very supportive as well in the use of the facilities."