Footballing legend Peter Beardsley got a taste of life behind bars when he opened a football pitch at a jail near York.

The ex-England, Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle player carried out the official opening of a new all-weather sports pitch yesterday at Full Sutton Prison on the outskirts of York.

Staff and prisoners were delighted that such a high-profile sports personality had agreed to do the honours.

Mr Beardsley responded to an invitation from deputy governor Gareth Sands to open the new facility and take part in a football match with some of the prisoners.

He also followed the opening with a question and answer session from prisoners and spoke about his career, his view of the English game and his experiences as an international footballer over the years.

The visit, said to be a huge success, marked the opening of a facility which gives prisoners access to the fresh air from the confines of a high-security prison setting.