Premiership football star Wilfried Zaha has agreed to be the face of new campaign which will see local barbers being trained to become health champions.

The project’s aim is to raise the profile and awareness of black mens health in the Thornton Heath area encouraging them to get checked at the GPs for diabetes, mental health and prostrate cancer.

It will be overseen by a partnership between Thornton Heath Barbers Academy, Palace for Life, the Thornton Heath Prescribing network, NHS Live Well and Nike.

Parchmore GP, Dr Obawale Obadare will lead  the training of barbers ensuring they are equipped with the right advice.

A recent trial in America researchers found that providing health advice and blood pressure check-ups at barber shops was an effective way of helping at-risk black men cut their chances of having a heart attack or stroke.

There are also plans for a trainee barber to provide free hair cuts from a barber shop chair situated in the ASKI (Advice Support Knowledge Information) on Brigstock Road.

Palace winger Zaha, 25,  who grew up in Thornton Heath attending Whitehorse Manor Junior School, is seen as a great role mode and inspriation.

He recently revealed that the secret to his confidence on the pitch is a haircut.

In a  BBC Africa documentary  focusing on Zaha’s Ghanian barber  Nikky Okyere, he said: “Before a game I like to have a fresh trim for my confidence. So barbers are so important. You actually sit down and talk about personal things.”