Liverpool school bans leather balls

A primary school in Liverpool has banned leather footballs from its playground for health and safety reasons.

Malvern Primary School said it was "common sense" to allow only soft sponge balls, to protect younger pupils.

The anti-obesity group Child Growth Foundation said: "Children must be exposed to risk, otherwise how can they be expected to learn?"

The Huyton area of Merseyside has produced the England and Liverpool player Steven Gerrard and Newcastle United's England international Joey Barton in recent years.