BURNLEY legend Martin Dobson has signed up to help the town’s youngsters avoid a life of crime.

The Rishton-born midfielder, who scored 76 times in 490 appearances during two spells with the Clarets, will work as an ambassador for the STREETS of Burnley outreach project.

STREETS — Sports to Radically Educate Everyone to Succeed — will work in conjunction with the University Technical College (UTC) in Trafalgar Street to help young people understand the consequences of risk-taking behaviour and the value of learning. The former England international, 66, got involved with the nationally-accredited scheme following an invitation from its managing director, John Magee.

Mr Dobson — the first £300,000 player in Britain — said: “John told me about his background — about how he used to be involved in gang-related crime and how he turned his life around — and so he is the perfect person to deliver his message and help children in Burnley. I had no hesitation in becoming an ambassador of STREETS of Burnley. STREETS can help to give children a second, third or even fourth chance and make them think about their actions. John has a lot of energy and deserves to succeed.”

Mr Magee, who said he was involved with crime when he was younger, set up STREETS UK, aimed at 10 to 19-year-olds, in 2009.

He said: “It’s all about using sport and mentoring as a vehicle and the hook to help children understand the consequences of risk-taking behaviour. I want to help them fulfill their aspirations and full potential. It also strengthens their sense of team work and respect for themselves and others.”

Mr Magee hopes to recruit a former professional footballer to deliver STREETS in the Burnley area from September 2014.

He added: “I am in talks with the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football League Trust about my vision — Burnley is the first step.”