Ryan Taylor and Danny Guthrie

Newcastle United duo Ryan Taylor and Danny Guthrie visited Newburn Leisure Centre on Tuesday afternoon to launch of a series of free football fun days for local children in the city.

Defender Taylor and midfielder Guthrie were visiting the Centre to meet 50 young players who had turned up for the Fusion Football Fun Days programme during their half-term holiday, passing on some of their tips and skills.

The venture sees Newcastle United Foundation join forces with Newcastle City Council to deliver free football fun days in partnership with junior football clubs across the city.

The fun days are open to boys and girls who live in Newcastle and hold a Fusion card. The Fusion scheme aims to increase participation in physical activity by offering a variety of free sports sessions to young people aged between five and 18. Tuesday's event was organised in partnership with Throckley Magpies Football Club.

Throughout the year, Fusion Football Fun Days will be taking place at various venues across the city during school holidays. Children who take part are divided into appropriate age groups and follow a coaching syllabus designed by Newcastle United Foundation.

Sessions are based on fun and enjoyment and consist of technical work, fun games, skills challenges and small-sided games. All of the Foundation's programmes promote respect, fair play and anti-bullying. By partnering with local clubs, the Foundation aims to hook children into the sport and provide opportunities to play regularly for their local team.

Taylor said: "It was a pleasure to come along today and help out the Foundation. It reminded me of things I used to do when I was a lad, playing football non-stop throughout the school holidays.

"Virtually every child was wearing a black and white strip which was great to see, and they even sung my song when I was walking over to see them - incredible really, and it made you feel so welcome."

Guthrie added: "From what I saw everyone was having a fantastic day and that's the main thing for children on football courses. Our Foundation does so much good work behind the scenes, and it's great that myself and Ryan were able to come along today and support them."

Joe Hanson, who was on the course, said: "We were all enjoying playing football with the Foundation coaches but then Ryan and Danny arrived out of the blue and it was amazing.

"It was fantastic to see them, ask them questions and then get photos and autographs with them. It was a brilliant day."

More Fusion Football Fun Days will take place this week on Wednesday at Grainger Park Boys Club and on Friday at Montagu & North Fenham Football Club, and during the Easter and summer holidays.

For more information, call the Foundation on 0844 372 1892 x 8450, or email foundation@nufc.co.uk