The drink-drive footballer Wayne Rooney has started his community service by allowing four-year-old schoolchildren to teach him to read.

The Everton star begun his 200-hour punishment in a child development centre in Alderley Edge, Cheshire on Friday, as part of a scheme where young children receive a self-confidence boost by using the skills that they have already learnt to benefit those who have fallen behind on their literacy pathway for Key Stage 1.

Football crazy reception class pupil Sammy Lukaku told Southend News Network that Rooney did ‘very really well’ in his first session.

He added: ‘Wayne did have a few problems with words like ‘photo’ to start with as he kept saying ‘per hoto’ until I read it with my outdoor voice a few times.’

‘Whenever he got angry with his words we stopped and did some colouring and this helped him to calm down a bit.’

‘He needs to do some work on his numbers as well. He saw a poster on the wall and said ‘who’s that fat bird?’ and I had to tell him that it was the number eight.’

The centre’s co-ordinator Jenny Adams told Southend News Network that the scheme is empowering children to become better leaders and role models in the future.

She added: ‘After spending time with Sammy, Wayne then took part in circle time and we all took it in turns to read pages from Postman Pat Fixes A Sink.’

‘He showed the rest of the group how much progress he has made, but for some reason he just kept stopping and staring at Mrs Goggins with a sort of lustful look in his eyes.’