Cory Cleaver, 17, from Ely has been named by Cardiff City Football Club as the team’s Premier League Kicks Hero in the year that the youth outreach programme celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Cory has been recognised by the Bluebirds for transforming from a disruptive and quick tempered young person in to a senior Premier League Kicks participant and group leader within his Caerau & Ely Kicks sessions.


His story has been immortalised in a comic illustration by renowned British Marvel Comics artist John McCrea, as part of the Premier League’s 10-year celebration of Kicks.


Premier League Kicks is a youth outreach programme with the aim to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities through the development of young peoples’ potential, whilst giving young people access to facilities, coaching and mentoring.


In its first decade, Premier League Kicks has engaged more than 180,000 young people in weekly football, sport and personal development sessions held at local community venues across the UK. 68 Premier League, English Football League and National League clubs now run the programme.


Since the start of Cardiff City’s delivery of Premier League Kicks in October 2013 more than 2,500 young people have engaged in our weekly FREE sports sessions across South Wales. Over 400 of the young people engaged have been female and 22% of all participants are BME demographic. Over 1,700 sessions have been delivered within the 4 years of delivery.


Corey said: “Premier League Kicks has been a great opportunity for me to progress as a young person and learn from the Cardiff City Foundation coaches that have acted a role models for me. I am very pleased to have been a part of Premier League Kicks since September 2015 and now be part of the Cardiff City Foundation BTEC Level 3 programme.”


Cardiff City FC Community Foundation Director Gavin Hawkey added: “Corey’s journey is an illustration of the power of football to help build more cohesive, resilient and prosperous communities.


"Thanks to the continued support of the Premier League we’re able to provide high quality activities and support young people to achieve their full potential.”


Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore said: “Premier League Kicks delivers sessions for young people where they are needed most, connecting football clubs with their communities in a meaningful and sustainable way.


“The Kicks Heroes campaign allows us to highlight some of those inspiring individual stories – like Cory Cleaver – and celebrate their achievements and thank the 68 Premier League, English Football League and National League clubs currently delivering the programme." 

Read Cory's full story here