Train with merse

Arsenal legend puts Greenford football club through paces


We gave London clubs the chance to win a football training session with Arsenal and England legend Paul Merson – and North Greenford United were our winners.

Merson, one of football’s biggest characters, headed up the training session as part of our Give London a Lift campaign.

Just like in 2020, we’re giving community groups and charities in London the chance to win a share of £10,000 of DIY products and materials.

But this year, as a special bonus, we also gave football clubs the chance to train with Merson.

With 98 goals during a glittering career with Arsenal before turning Sky Sports pundit, he’s hugely popular within the game, so we were delighted that he agreed to pull on the famous Leyland SDM training jacket.

He said: “It was fantastic to join North Greenford United at their training session.

“The club has some really good players and it was a privilege to play a practice game alongside them and offer them some advice from my experience.

“I’m proud to be involved with Leyland SDM’s Give London a Lift campaign which is helping so many good causes throughout the capital.”

Merson played in a 50-minute game with the squad before gathering them around for a passionate team talk.

It must’ve worked as the following Saturday North Greenford United ran out 8-3 winners!

The Combined Counties League Premier Division North club will also receive a new kit as part of the competition.

Paul Mills, team manager, said: “It was an amazing experience to welcome Paul to training.

“To have someone of his reputation and standing involved in the training was a huge boost for the players. They took all of his advice on board and I’m sure they’ll be better players for it.

“He might be 53, but he can certainly still pass a ball!

“On behalf of the club, I’d like to offer a huge thank you to Leyland SDM for getting our season off to a flying start.”

Paul Gerreli, Marketing Director at Leyland SDM, said: “Paul is one of the biggest names in the game and training alongside him was a great prize for the players of North Greenford United.

“Paul had a fantastic career and training alongside him will be an experience the players treasure forever.”

Groups can enter the Give London a Lift competition by clicking here.