Page last updated at 09:26 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Footballers get driving lessons


Gordon Taylor of the PFA on the scheme

Professional footballers who own some of the most powerful cars on the road are being offered extra driving lessons by their own union.

The PFA scheme, being launched at the City of Manchester stadium, follows several high-profile incidents involving players.

Last month, Manchester United's Carlos Tevez had his 140,000 Bentley seized because he did not have a UK licence.

And Cristiano Ronaldo hit the headlines when he crashed his Ferrari.

The incident happened in January when the winger hit the barrier in a tunnel near Manchester Airport.

He [Ronaldo] was very fortunate when you think of his value to Manchester United and the career in front of him
Gordon Taylor

The PFA said the aim of the scheme, which will be run in conjunction with BSM driving school, was to make footballers "better drivers".

Manchester City is also offering its youth team the specially designed driving awareness session.

PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor said: "The one thing that's important for a young male is that they want to buy a car and that car is often very powerful.

"We have to make these youngsters aware of how it can be virtually a weapon of destruction if not handled carefully."

Advanced driving

But the courses, from pre-driving education through to advanced driving courses, will be open to footballers of all levels - including top Premier League stars like Ronaldo.

Mr Taylor said the winger's tunnel crash "could have been very tragic".

"He was very fortunate when you think of his value to Manchester United and the career in front of him," added the PFA boss.

"That would be an example of what can happen because sometimes players don't always appreciate the power in these cars."

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