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Ministers in Hatfields for anti-drugs football match

Education secretary and Labour deputy leadership candidate Alan Johnson was amongst a team of Government ministers and MPs playing a football match in Hatfields on Wednesday.

Alan Johnson MP in Hatfields
John Marshall (Dads Against Drugs team), Alan Johnson (Secretary of State for Education), James Wright (Positive Futures team)

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker captained the MPs' football team in a five-a-side match on National Tackling Drugs Day at the Colombo Centre's football pitches in Hatfields.

Coaker teamed up with education secretary Alan Johnson, health minister Andy Burnham and MPs Clive Betts and John Leech.

"Although football has always been a passion of mine, it is a while since I donned a football strip," says Alan Johnson.

"But there can be no better reason to limber up again than to join the fight against drugs. Drugs blight lives and destroy potential, numbing bright inquisitive minds. Parenthood is a blessing, but it also brings with it challenges and fears – one of the greatest of which is protecting your children from the world of drugs.

"The Government has done much to tackle the drug culture, but it is up to us all to take a stand and stamp it out."

The football match marked the launch of the 2007 search for unsung local heroes in the drug sector.

The parliamentarians took on a team from last year's award winners Dads Against Drugs and Positive Futures.

Anyone is able to nominate the drug worker and team of the year who have made a real difference by reducing the harm caused by drugs. Successful nominees will receive 10,000 to support their local project.

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