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Bamford & Bernardo Hit The Beach With Think With Your Feet
Bamford & Bernardo Hit The Beach With Think With Your Feet
PHOTO: Participant Steve Moolgaoker poses with Bamford, Espinosa and the Munich trophy. (Photo: Smoggynorm Photography)

Middlesbrough FC duo Patrick Bamford and Bernardo Espinosa surprised our 'Think With Your Feet' mental health footballers on Wednesday during a special visit to Saltburn-By-The-Sea.

As a reward for their hard work and recent success on both a national and international front, the group were ferried to the Teesside coast for an afternoon of beach football, including mini drills and games of 'head tennis'.

And the treat was complete as Bamford and Espinosa arrived on the sea-front fresh from Tuesday night's draw with West Brom, to greet the group, sign some autographs and pose for photos with the guys and girls.

The popular sessions offer an outlet and point of contact for those who have experienced mental health issues, ranging from depression to substance abuse.

The team have been very successful over the past 12 months, competing in eight tournaments both nationally and internationally, winning seven of them.

Their victory in Munich last May was the undoubtedly the highlight of the year for the group, who represent Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation in tournaments, as they also captured the National Mental Health Championship on World Mental Health Day at Everton.

Boro defender Espinosa told mfcfoundation.co.uk at the event: "It's great to come down and see the good work MFC Foundation are doing with these people.
"At my other clubs there were some community programs, but not as many as there are here.

"Saltburn beach was beautiful, and the weather was very similar to when I was Gijon to be honest!"

Steve Moolgaoker, who is a particpant-turned-coach with the group after MFC Foundation put him through his Level One FA Coaching badge, said: "Before MFC Foundation I was in a very bad place, I tried to commit suicide a number of times.

"Since coming to these football sessions, my confidence has increased massively, and I can't thank them enough for what they have done.

"Every Sunday night I lie my kit out ready for Tuesday. The sessions mean everything to me, I love it!"

Social Inclusion Coordinator Claire Streeter said about the visit of the players: "I'm delighted Patrick and Bernardo were able to come down and see the work we do with people suffering from mental health problems in this area.

"Mental Health issues are a very serious matter, with thousands and millions of people world-wide suffering from this affliction. The players were great with the guys, taking photos, chatting to them and putting smiles on their faces.

"They are great ambassadors for the football club, and I'm touched they took the time out to come and see the good work we do."

To find out more about Think With Your Feet, please call 01642 757674 or email claire.streeter@mfcfoundation.co.uk