Or­phans get Mane’s out-of-date shirts

Sunday Times - - Sport Soccer -

● Or­phans in Malawi are set to re­ceive over 100 Sa­dio Mane Liver­pool shirts do­nated af­ter the for­ward changed his squad num­ber. Mane took up Liver­pool’s No 10 jersey in July af­ter it had pre­vi­ously been worn by Philippe Coutinho. Liver­pool then of­fered sup­port­ers who had pur­chased Mane No 19 shirts be­fore the switch was an­nounced the op­por­tu­nity of a like-for-like ex­change for a Mane No 10 strip.

Those No 19 shirts have now been gath­ered and handed to KitAid, who are work­ing with Friends of Mu­lanje Or­phans (Fomo) to dis­trib­ute the kit to the un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren in Malawi.

“It's like a dream for the chil­dren in the vil­lages, get­ting a T-shirt that they never thought they would get,” Mary Wood­worth, founder of Fomo, told ESPN FC. “It’s just mag­i­cal ba­si­cally.

“Sa­dio Mane is from Africa, his name is just ev­ery­where. To see the T-shirt of Sa­dio Mane will just be over­whelm­ing.

“It will make a big dif­fer­ence, es­pe­cially in the vil­lages. Be­cause they don’t have the means of get­ting any money or to be able to buy one T-shirt. It’s a dream come true [for them].”

On Satur­day, ESPN FC at­tended one of their kit-sort­ing ses­sions at a church near Ever­ton’s Good­i­son Park, where over 2,200 pieces of kit were packed ahead of be­ing sent to Africa.

“We have a say­ing, which is: ‘It’s more than just a shirt,’ ” founder Der­rick Wil­liams told ESPN FC. “And it re­ally is be­cause when you go out you see the kids that are des­per­ate for foot­ball kit to be part of a team.

“We hear sto­ries where if they haven’t got kit then their team isn't al­lowed into a league, which is re­ally heart­break­ing. So it’s great that we can pro­vide that by work­ing through or­gan­i­sa­tions like Fomo in Malawi.

“We work through the whole foot­ball pyra­mid. So it's great that we get Ever­ton, Liver­pool, Man United, Arse­nal, Chelsea, Wat­ford help­ing us, but it's ac­tu­ally im­por­tant that we’re there as an out­let all the way down the pyra­mid.

“When I started KitAid 20 years ago, I would say 80% of kit came from grass­roots. It’s just shifted over the years since we’ve be­come a bit more well known, so it’s prob­a­bly 60% from the big­ger clubs, 40% from the grass­roots.

“But we saw it our­selves when we were out in Malawi, it doesn’t mat­ter if it’s Liver­pool, they’re equally happy to re­ceive the kit of a boys’ team be­cause it means they can par­tic­i­pate in a proper league.” — espn.com ●

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.