Bath Rugby legend Matt Banahan is returning to the city he made his name in after he hangs up his boots at the end of the 2020/21 season.
The Jersey-born England international, who won 16 caps, left Bath for Gloucester in 2018 but not until after he left an indelible mark on club and city during 12 years in the Blue, Black and White.
The 6ft 7in powerhouse back, who can play wing, cente and full-back, was just one appearance away from equalling David Barnes's record of 265 appearances for Bath in the professional era when he left the club.
He is currently sixth on the list of all-time Premiership try scorers, with 71.
And now he wants to give back and inspire the next generation through sport.
Post rugby career Banahan, 34, will be joining the Bath Recreation team in a full time capacity as Glasshouse Academy manager and a Sports Ambassador from July, 2021.
Banahan will lead the new academy community project for youngsters based out of the Glasshouse Pavilion development in Combe Down.
The academy aims to support young people on their journey from Year 5 to Year 13, through out of school activity, aims to develop the future leaders of Bath's community sports and recreation organisations and develop values and skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
Bath Recreation have been developing the Academy concept with head teachers and support from St John's Foundation and the Medlock Charitable Trust and hope to work with the first youngsters this summer, Covid pandemic permitting.
Banahan said: "I have been fortunate enough in my sports career to have people always supporting and helping me to achieve my best, now I want to focus on giving back to others.
"Bath Recreation has given me a fantastic opportunity to help and develop the next generation in a way I was so lucky to have as a child.
"This programme, and Bath Recreation, is a great place for me to share my passion and values for sport and I am excited about the opportunities we are aiming to give to the young people and for myself to be a part of it."
Bath Recreation CEO, John Flinn added "Now more than ever people need opportunities to participate and enjoy sport and recreation.
"In addition to the Academy Matt will be supporting the community to reconnect with sport as we emerge from the pandemic.
"Bath Recreation is working with a number of organisations to create a range of activity for people to enjoy sport and recreation.
"The energy and passion that Matt brings will provide a significant catalyst as we work to support schools and clubs to restart."
Karen Gill - 2021-01-28
Brilliant news. Matt is just the right person for the job & a great addition to your Team.
Steve Rupp - 2021-01-30
Matt will be a great role model for any aspiring sportsperson. Empathetic and a great sense of humour. Excellent choice.
The Bath Carnival
Saturday 10 July 2021
Fantastic Food Festival
Friday 16 - Sunday 18 July 2021
The Bath Festival Finale Weekend
Saturday 7 - Sunday 8 August 2021 (Rescheduled)
Sunday 22 August 2021
Sunday 18 September 2021
Bath Recreation Annual Public Meeting*
Wednesday 20 October 2021 at 1700hrs - Glasshouse Pavilion BA2 5BX
*This will be held providing that Covid-19 social distancing conditions can be met.