Fenland family to donate unwanted football kits to Kenyan youngsters who play in tatty clothes and bare feet

A FENLAND family are appealing for people to donate unwanted football kits to help children in Kenya after they saw a team playing in tatty clothes whilst on holiday last year.

Deborah Gale, 45, and her husband Richard, 47, from Whittlesey, went to the African nation in November for their 25th wedding anniversary with their daughters Rachel, 22, and Lindsey, 20.

When they returned they decided to send children football equipment to stop them sitting on the streets.

Mrs Gale said: “Education in Kenya is free up to eight years of age but unless they have the money for further studies, they don’t do anything. Ninety per cent of children don’t so this is a way of keeping Kenya active.

“For them, football is their lives and we started talking to a man called Katana in Mombasa on a beach near our hotel. He kept talking about his football team and we went to watch them and meet his family.”

The family was astonished when they saw the team play in tatty kits and in their bare feet so they gave them some football shirts.

Mrs Gale said: “On the last day of the holiday we were walking along the beach when Katana came up to us and thanked us, even though he had run two miles there.

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“When we got back we decided to help Katana and his friends so we decided to appeal to football clubs for their old kits or training equipment to send to them.

“We’ve had a couple of people call up to donate their kits and Peteborough United, who my husband supports and is a season ticket holder, has asked their players to donate some boots as we’re short of them at the moment.”

The family have help from one of their friends who exports cars to Africa, who said he would send kits with the vehicles. They are thinking of returning to see the children wearing the kits that are being donated.

CONTACT: If you would like to donate any football kit, contact Mrs Gale on 07798 635482.

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