A primary school in an area of Liverpool that has produced some of the country's top footballers has caused controversy by banning leather footballs on health and safety grounds.
Joey Barton, Steven Gerrard and Peter Reid all grew up in the area of Huyton, one of whose schools has taken the decision to issue only sponge balls in order to avoid injury to their kids.
A school spokesman announced that "the school authority takes children's safety very seriously. As a result, other measures to be taken include issuing our students with rubber darts and prohibiting them from running in the playground.
"Moreover, effective from Monday coming, the following will be unwelcome in school buildings : buckled shoes, wooden rulers, braces (on trousers and teeth), staples in books, metal paper clips and , last but not least, teachers with loud voices".