Heskey's helping hand for Kick It Out action-packed music event
Emile Heskey may be a powerful and intimidating player on the pitch but off it, he's a gentle giant and someone children of a claret and blue persuasion look up to immensely.
That was demonstrated when Heskey gave up some of his time to chat to children from Heathfield, Yew Tree and Manor Park primary schools as part of Villa's Kick It Out 'week of action' celebrations, along with former star Earl Barrett.
The youngsters took part in a special music session in the club's Learning Zone where they were asked to capture the passion of the football chant by coming up with an original song, rhyme or rap to celebrate the diversity of football.
The task was for young people to write a One Game, One Community song, rap or chant which celebrates football as a diverse community and produce a piece with a powerful message.
The highlight of the day was the special panel session with star striker Heskey, former defender Barrett and community officer Ravi Masih.
The kids had the chance to quiz the panel on a range of subjects related to football, diversity, equality and inclusion.
Heskey said: "I enjoyed it. It was great to see the kids coming out for the day and enjoying themselves too.
"It was great to sit and answer some questions for them.
"They look up to footballers and obviously see us on television. The chance to ask questions was good."
Meanwhile, Masih was thrilled to see Heskey and Barrett get involved on the day.
He continued: "Birmingham is a diverse city and at Villa Park we see fans from all walks of life together for one cause - to cheer on Aston Villa.
"With that in mind, spreading our Villa in Harmony message that everyone is welcome at Villa Park is very important and that discrimination of any sort is not tolerated.
"Having Emile and Earl share their experiences as players really helped drive home an important message of equality to the children today."
Barrett praised the efforts of the children in coming up with great questions, insisting that showed they were thinking greatly about the important topics.
He added: "It was a great event. You get some really tough questions but that shows that they are thinking.
"As long as they are thinking around the topics of racism and prejudice, they will move on and get more educated.
"Most of the kids have probably not encountered racism because of what's gone before them, which is a good thing.
"One of my messages was if you encounter someone who is different, befriend them and ask them questions about where they are from. Through that, understanding develops and prejudice disappears."
Click here to check out the image gallery from the event.
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