SPORTING CHANCE would like to thank our departing Head of Education Jeff Whitley for his sterling service with our charity and wish him well as he takes up a similar education and player welfare role with our key stakeholder, the Professional Footballers' Association.
Jeff was a player for many years with Manchester City, coming up through the youth ranks, and made 120 appearances for the first team from 1996 to 2003, including winning promotion to the Premier League.
He then went on to Sunderland, where he was part of the team that was promoted to the Premier League in 2005, before finishing his career with Cardiff City. The Zambian-born midfield player also won 20 caps with Northern Ireland, the land of his father's birth.
It was while at Cardiff that Jeff acknowledged his alcohol and drug problem and sought the help of Sporting Chance. Once clean and sober, he trained as a counsellor and for more than six years has delivered high-quality education days to sports clubs and organisations on behalf of our charity.
Said Sporting Chance Chief Executive Colin Bland: "Jeff has been an excellent Head of Education and all those sports people who have attended his talks and sessions would surely testify to that.
"The PFA know they are getting a top operator and we wish him well in his role. We also look forward to working with Jeff in the future, continuing our great partnership and relationship with the PFA."
In Jeff's place, our Education Officer Alex Mills will now take on the lead role at our education seminars, backed by a variety of speakers including Sporting Chance founder and Chair of Trustees Tony Adams.