Liverpool fans will know Mark Wright as the man who lifted the 1992 FA Cup for the club, but what is less well known about the classy defender who won 45 caps for England is his involvement in and advocacy for foster care.

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Wright is helping Salford City Council's drive to recruit new foster carers by joining up with old teammate John Barnes, former England defender Viv Anderson and ex-Everton players Neville Southall and Peter Reid to play six-a-side, conduct a Q&A session and coach disadvantaged children.

The campaign, which is part of The Fostering Network's 'Foster Care Fortnight', aims to encourage potential foster carers to come forward - as 8,370 more are needed this year.

He told "If everybody got involved and could help foster children, raise awareness about fostering and adoption then there wouldn't be children waiting to be fostered or adopted because it would be eliminated straight away."

Fostering is a personal cause for Wright, as he and his wife, Sue, have been foster carers themselves and plan to be again in the future.

Talking of his own experience of fostering, the 51-year-old said: "You see a child flourish, by going to school and when a child feels safe, the smile on their face is the biggest thing that you can ever give a child.

"To give these children a sense of normality is the biggest thing any foster carer can do, and when you do that there's a great sense of pride for you as a human being.

"Everyone can play a role, whether it's in respite, just for a weekend, a day - fostering short-term or long-term with a view to adoption.

"There are all different strains and I think if everybody got involved to try to play a small part, even if it's not for them, they may know someone in their circle of friends who may be interested.

"If we do that then there wouldn't be this problem in this country and all the children would be looked after."

Wright and his wife have been foster carers for six years, while former Everton goalkeeper Southall also fosters children.

On how football can help, he said: "Football is the biggest sport in the world, every household watches it and if we can get to people and try to raise awareness through the sporting world to eliminate that percentage of children who are out there who need homes, it would be such a good thing, well done."

Foster Care Fortnight runs until June 14 - click here for more details.