Referees Howard Webb and Uriah Rennie helped kick off a project to get more young people playing football in Sheffield.
The Arbourthorne initiative – backed by housing partners Sanctuary Group and Keepmoat – was launched at Sheffield Springs Academy.
Special guests included former boxer Johnny Nelson, as well as retired Premier League referee Uriah, from Sheffield, and current top-flight referee Howard, from Rotherham.
A £5,000 donation will help provide free soccer sessions, building upon a scheme piloted by Sheffield United Community Foundation during the summer.
The project is being run by voluntary group Objective 4.8, which was co-founded by South Yorkshire Police and Shaun Wright, county police and crime commissioner.
Sanctuary and Keepmoat became involved as they are building 131 homes in the area, at a cost of £14 million.
More than 100 people attended the Springs launch, where young people showcased their sporting skills and showed a film they had made about the progress made so far.
Colleen Eccles, Sanctuary’s director of neighbourhoods, said: “Our interest in Arbourthorne extends beyond providing high-quality affordable housing.
“We also want to work with the community to do more for those who live there. We are proud to be part of this football initiative which provides positive activities for young people, right on their doorstep.
“It’s fantastic to see local celebrities lending their support to the scheme.”
Nathan Brough, from Keepmoat, said: “Regeneration isn’t just about bricks and mortar, it’s also about making a difference for local people, and it’s great we have been able to do this in Arbourthorne.”
Sean Greaves, from Objective 4.8, said: “We have worked hard to engage young people in the area and we now have more than 70 young people attending each session.
“Thanks to this support we can extend our sessions to benefit many more young people in the future.”