Foot­ball club’s mad dash to col­lect spe­cial Ar­mistice kit

Mov­ing de­sign fea­tures poppy and sil­hou­ettes in trib­ute to war heroes

The Sentinel - - NEWS - Richard Ault richard.ault@reach­plc.com

A FOOT­BALL club chair­man and a busi­ness­man face a race across the Mid­lands this morn­ing in or­der to get their team kit­ted out in a strip spe­cially de­signed for Remembrance week­end.

When Norton Wan­der­ers play Whit­ting­ton FC in the Staffs Vase to­day, they hope to be wear­ing an evoca­tive kit fea­tur­ing a poppy and sil­hou­ettes of sol­diers.

It was de­signed by club chair­man Leigh Robin­son to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the First World War.

Busi­ness­man Tom Quinn, who runs sports­wear sup­plier Club Kit Di­rect, based at Loomer Road, Ch­ester­ton, has paid for the kits and ar­ranged for them to be made abroad and shipped back to the UK in time for the game.

How­ever, de­spite re­ceiv­ing a guar­an­tee that the kits would ar­rive ear­lier this week, yes­ter­day they were still be­ing flown to North Stafford­shire – from Pak­istan via Is­tan­bul.

Tom and Leigh spent most of yes­ter­day fran­ti­cally ring­ing round to find out where the plane car­ry­ing the shirts would land, so they could ar­range to col­lect them di­rectly from the air­port and take them to Or­mis­ton Sir Stan­ley Matthews Acad­emy, where Norton Wan­der­ers are due to kick off at 2pm.

Tom, aged 25, of May Bank, said: “We think we have tracked the plane down. We are hope­fully go­ing to go to Birm­ing­ham this morn­ing to see if we can get hold of them.

“We’ve spo­ken to the air­port and we should be able to get them, but it’s not cer­tain yet.

“I can imag­ine me bring­ing them up just be­fore kick-off.”

He added: “The kits look re­ally good. No-one has ever re­ally done any­thing like this be­fore. They’re hand­made and de­signed by Leigh.”

Leigh, aged 40, of Brad­well, said: “It was just an idea I had. We al­ways like to do some­thing for Remembrance. Last year we had a poppy painted on the cen­tre cir­cle.

“We wanted to do some­thing more pro­fes­sional this year for the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the Great War. So I spoke to Tom and through his con­tacts he was able to get it made. “The de­sign starts off with dark clouds, which then runs down to the sil­hou­ettes of sol­diers walk­ing to war. “Then it runs down to the shorts which are all black, rep­re­sent­ing the ground they walked on, and then down to the socks which have a black trim and a red body which rep­re­sents the blood that was shed. “My grand­fa­ther was in the Army, but I just like to show re­spect for what peo­ple in the ser­vices have done for us, and I like to try to be a bit dif­fer­ent.

“In fu­ture, we will bring out this kit every year and wear it on Remembrance week­end.”

Club cap­tain Joe Sergeant said all the play­ers were look­ing for­ward to wear­ing the kit – as­sum­ing it ar­rives on time.

Joe, aged 25, of Ch­ester­ton, said: “I think it’s bril­liant, all the lads love it.”

ONE-OFF: The new kit.

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