A former Leicester City footballer, who played alongside the likes of Gary Lineker in the 1970s and 1980s, is urging people to join him in working in social care.
Tommy Williams, a former defender who represented the Foxes 271 times, became a Melton police officer after retiring from the game and is now employed as a senior support worker in the town.
Tommy, who is now 61, enjoys his career so much that he is spearheading a recruitment drive with Leicestershire County Council in a bid to meet a growing demand for care across the county.
The council has this week launched Inspired to Care, a website for people to explore the different types of social care roles available.
Reflecting on how he took up a role in social care, he said: “I was in the police force for 23 years and it gave me a lot of experience.
“I think it has helped me to relate to people of all ages, such as those with mental health issues or people with disabilities.
“No two days are the same.
“It is great seeing people getting something out of it and I get a similar buzz putting smiles on faces as I did playing football.
“It would be great to see more people give it a go as a career.”
Older City fans will remember Tommy as a member of the team which took on the great Tottenham side of Ardiles and Hoddle in the 1982 FA Cup semi-finals although they lost that big match 2-0 and he sadly broke his leg.
He enjoyed his subsequent police career and now works with Support and Connections, a day service in Melton, where his daily schedule includes a mixture of leading group sessions and working with individuals to support them with learning new skills and participating in activities.
Tommy addedd: “I came across this job by chance and I’ve been a support worker for almost six years now.
“I started out by providing community transport and now I coach an inclusive football team, run multi-sports sessions and cycling for adults with a range of physical and learning disabilities.”
Councillor Richard Blunt, cabinet member for adult social care at County Hall, said: “Adult social care has a lot to offer and across Leicestershire people working in social care are making a real difference to people’s lives.
“Inspired to Care not only gives people new ways to develop and learn new skills, but also encourages future generations to consider careers in social care.
“We are committed to putting social care on the radar of a fulfilling career path, challenging negative perceptions that have grown around the sector and to attract and retain people seeking, what can be, exceptionally rewarding work.”
Go online to www.inspiredtocare.co.uk to find out about new opportunities in social care in Melton and elsewhere in the county.