LAST week we launched Worcester Legends – profiles of the ‘ordinary people’ who make our city such a great place to live due to their passion, dedication and kindness.

We’ll be telling their stories every Tuesday in the newspaper and on our website.

Football coach Matt Tally was among the first people to be nominated as a Worcester Legend.

Mr Tally, 34, has helped to develop hundreds of young aspiring footballers since becoming an amateur coach a couple of years ago, with many going on to be signed to youth academies.

Nominated by his wife Louise, one of Mr Tally’s proudest achievements is seeing the couple’s nine-year-old son Josh sign a contract with Aston Villa, having coached him himself.

“Matt ferries him to Bodymoor Heath to train every Tuesday and Thursday evening, and Saturday morning and to play a game on a Sunday,” said Mrs Tally.

“You would think that was enough for anyone to do, but despite all of this he makes time to coach nearly every evening.”

Mr Tally trains Worcester-based City Juniors under-nines team on a Friday night, as well as coaching Monday evening sessions, with children ranging in age from three to 12 years.

“He also does one-on-one sessions and invite-only football development sessions for the kids who are really talented,” said Mrs Tally, who admits her husband would love to take up coaching professionally one day.

Having been a talented footballer himself, but never having been signed to an academy, Mrs Tally said he is “over the moon” that Josh has taken the extra step.

“His knees are knackered now, but having a son and introducing him to the game he loves was just as good,” she said.

“He can see that Josh has some of the same traits as he did. They are both defenders and both captains. But he’s always said: ‘Josh is a lot better than I ever was.’”

Josh joined City Juniors at the age of six, and his dad got involved soon after, having never coached before.

Mrs Tally said many of the parents thought her husband would leave the team along with Josh, who can no longer play due to his commitments at Villa.

“A lot of the parents were shocked he decided to carry on, that’s unusual.

"Most coaches get involved because their son is in a team. I think everyone thought he would go, but he adores those boys.

“He’s had them since they were seven and quite a few have gone on to play for Cheltenham Academy. Lots of that is down to him. The parents all love him too because of his passion and dedication.”

Asked what sort of coach her husband is, Mrs Tally said: “He is very fun but is very strict if they are not putting the effort in; but the kids adore him. He knows how to get the best out of them, and properly puts them through their paces. Every session they know they are going to work hard.”

Mr Tally owns a carpet-fitting business with a friend, and with coaching taking up much of his free time, Mrs Tally said “we are often like ships in the night”.

The couple have four children in total, including Josh – Jessie, 11, Josie, six, and Jaz, three – with Jessie a talented swimmer who trains during the week, too.

Along with Josh, who often gives demonstrations at his dad’s sessions, Jessie also helps out with the register, while Mrs Tally and Josie and Jaz go along to the matches.

“It’s a bit of a family affair,” said Mrs Talley. “Matt puts in hour after hour and when he gets home he’s absolutely knackered. He really puts a lot into this, and I think he’ll secretly be very pleased to be in the paper.”