A FORMER star of the school football team, now a Premiership midfielder, has returned to his old school to encourage today's pupils to get involved in sport.

Jimmy Bullard, who now plays for Fulham, was at Erith School, Avenue Road, Erith, to present awards for sporting achievement at three assemblies.

Mr Bullard, who was a pupil at the school from 1991 to 1996, handed over certificates, gift vouchers and trophies to 24 boys and girls in Years 7, 8 and 9.

He told pupils: "I have shaken hands today with some stars of the future. I am sure we shall see some of you peak in the 2012 Olympics."

Erith School achieved specialist status two years ago for sport, mathematics and computing and now encourages pupils to take up a wide variety of sports.

Bullard is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, but hopes to be back in the Fulham side next season.

After the presentations, he signed dozens of football shirts, footballs and match and presentation programmes.