Mumbai: For the first time in its over hundred-year history, famous English football club Liverpool FC has associated itself in a talent hunt with Standard Chartered Bank by targeting 2000 children from 80 schools in the city run by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

The joint initiative, "Go Forward", involves a process to whittle down the hunt to 32 children who would be given a rigorous four-month long training programme under I-League players and the English club's coaches, it was announced at a media conference on Wednesday.

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, skipper of the 1981 European Cup-winning outfit, had flown in to launch the scheme which he termed as "giving something back to football".

"This is getting into grass roots football by involving the Municipal schools of Mumbai. This is the first time ever Liverpool is getting involved in such a scheme and, depending on its success, we can hopefully take it to other cities of India and other countries of Asia," Thompson, brand ambassador of the English Premiership club, told reporters.

"It's a fantastic and wonderful venture. It gives chance to school children to dream and aspire for bigger things in what they enjoy doing. But the important thing is this should be sustainable over the years," Thompson added.

The former player who led Liverpool to a grand Premier League and European Cup title double in 1981, was certain that at some point in future the club, which has seven million fans in the country, would visit India.

"It would be sooner than later," said Thompson.

(Agencies)