Before leaving for Euro 2004, England stars delivered a Sport England cheque for young people from deprived neighbourhoods.
Before setting off to Euro 2004, England stars took a break from their busy schedule to deliver a Sport England cheque to Positive Futures, a Home Office programme that delivers education, training and employment opportunities to young people living in the most deprived neighbourhoods across the country.
Positive Futures was launched in 2000 and is funded by the Home Office Drug Strategy Directorate, the football industry through the Football Foundation and Sport England.
There are now 107 projects in England and Wales. Approximately two thirds of all sporting activity delivered through the Positive Futures programme is football - demonstrating its unique appeal to all young people.
Latest MORI research shows that over 50,000 young people aged 10 - 19 have benefited from the programme since it started.
Thousands of these young people have found casual, part and full time employment, obtained training awards, started volunteering or returned to full time education.
Sport England's latest £0.5 million donation will ensure that all adults working with vulnerable young people are competent and have the appropriate knowledge and skills.
In February and March, approximately 200 Positive Futures front line staff attended training courses designed to recognise indications of substance misuse and referring young people to specialist services.
Home Office Minister Caroline Flint said:
"Helping to address substance misuse is just one way in which Positive Futures is supporting deprived communities in England and Wales.
"Projects deliver this service through drop-in surgeries, one-to-one sessions, leaflets and literature and informal advice at sport sessions.
"Sport England's funding will begin to ensure all sports coaches who have access to young people can address the issues associated with problematic substance misuse."
England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said:
"Football can be a powerful way of reaching and helping young people, and Positive Futures is doing just that.
"The players, myself and everybody at The FA are proud to be associated with an initiative making a real difference to young people's lives."
Roger Draper, Sport England Chief Executive said:
"We believe sport has the power to change people's lives and are therefore committed to creating opportunities for people to start, stay and succeed in sport.
"Sport England is delighted to be involved in this ground breaking project. Our investment will help to ensure its future success - improving training and extending its benefits to more and more youngsters."