Former Blackpool FC player Trevor Sinclair inspired students from the resort in a special speech this week.
Year 10 pupils from Athena Educational Diversity, on Whitegate Drive, gathered at Warbreck House to celebrate the end of an eight-week programme dedicated to teaching them essential life skills.
The initiative, called Inspiring Young People, is run by the North West Civil Service Local, and aims to educate young people on the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.
Project leader Virginia Goodhew said: “They have been studying CV writing and interview skills and anything that they need for transitioning into the workplace.
“Trevor has children himself and was interested in coming along and showing his support.
“He’s a local lad who lives locally and played for Blackpool, and a lot of the students knew him.
“He was incredibly humble and he was so good with the young people, and we were absolutely thrilled that he wanted to come along.”
Trevor played for Blackpool FC as a winger between1989 and 1993. He went onto play for Queen’s Park Rangers, West Ham United, Manchester City and Cardiff City during his career before retiring in 2008.
Ms Goodhew added: “The children were all inspired.”
The project runs in line with Athena’s overall policy, as it educates children who have been taken out of mainstream education with the aim of successfully integrating them into their community.
She said: “A lot of the feedback we got was that they had increased confidence in their skills and how they can contribute to society.
“A lot of them are just talking about getting a part-time job at the weekend but these skills are just as important now as they will be in a full-time job.”