Carlo Cudicini attended the first heat of the Bill Nicholson Schools Cup at Old Chigwelians Sports Ground Monday March 1.
The goalkeeper was on hand to reward the winners as four Essex primary schools battled it out to advance in this the inaugural competition.
The Bill Nicholson Memorial Fund is providing funding to run the tournament in approximately 100 Essex and Hertfordshire schools over the coming months.
The Bill Nicholson Schools Cup incorporates four different age groups from each participant school ranging from Year 3 up to Year 6 - giving around 2,500 children the opportunity to take part.
Tottenham Hotspur Soccer Schools coaches will deliver the tournament in each selected area in school curriculum hours, giving each year group the chance to represent their school.
Each child participating receives a certificate of achievement, and the winners of each heat receive medals for all players and a trophy for the school.
The County Finals involving the winners from each district will be held at the Tottenham Hotspur First Team training ground in Chigwell this summer.
And the first school to advance after success in Heat 1 was High Beech Primary, who beat off competition from Upshire, Chigwell and Epping Primary Schools.