HE is a football manager’s dream, with pace to burn, buckets of strength . . . and four legs!

Meet Jeffrey, the footballing pony.

The three-year-old, found wandering beside a busy main road in Bolton, is now wowing visitors at his new home.

According to staff at Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary, Jeffrey likes nothing better than kicking and heading a ball around the 55-acre farm in Edenfield.

And workers at the charity say he has become equally adept scoring goals with both hooves!

Jeffrey came to the sanctuary around six months ago after being found on the loose in Bolton.

Neil Martin, manager at Bleakholt, said: “He was in good condition, but he’s a stallion, so he’s a little bit stroppy.

“Most of our mares are in season at the moment and the fact that they are 10 times bigger than him doesn’t seem to bother him.

When there’s a will, there's a way.

“We have to keep him on his own with an older horse to keep him company, called Bracken.

“To keep Jeffrey occupied we need to stimulate him, so the staff decided to give him an exercise ball to play with.”

Neil said Jeffrey had taken to the game like a natural.

He said: “Bracken doesn’t like the ball but Jeffrey loves it.

“He uses a shelter as a goal and chases the ball into it.

“We’re not allowed to play goalkeeper because he’ll run you down if you get in his way!”

Jeffrey grazes in the sanctuary’s fields, trains and exercises and interacts with humans in open day horse parades.

Neil said: “He and the other animals are very happy here, it’s a suitable environment for them so they will stay here for life.

“Being somewhere where they get lots of attention from people is an ideal home for them.”