Blues back football kits charity donations

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Everton FC's current home, Goodison Park. Pic by Vegard Grott © JMU Journalism

Everton FC’s current home, Goodison Park. Pic by Vegard Grott © JMU Journalism

Everton in the Community and KitAid teamed up at Goodison Park over the weekend to appeal for unwanted football strips for those from disadvantaged parts of the world.

KitAid has been collecting unwanted football clothing since 1998, but this appeal is the first that has been backed by a Premier League football club.

Many of the tops collected over the weekend will be redistributed across Africa, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Ritchie Gilham, who has been organising collections for nearly a year before Everton backed the scheme, has been impressed with the public response so far.

Speaking to JMU Journalism, he said: “Some of the people who receive the clothes that we collect here don’t have clothing of this quality, so it won’t just be used as a football kit, but they’ll wear it every day of their lives.

“From our point of view, we just thought we could do something that doesn’t involve people giving money, because obviously money is short these days. So helping out with KitAid seemed obvious.

“We’ve had loads of great photographs back, with pictures of people with big smiling faces, wearing different football kits, and it doesn’t matter what colour they’ve got on because it’s doing a good thing.”

Former Everton and Tranmere Rovers player, Ronnie Goodlass, was also present to help with the programme. He told JMU Journalism: “Every game there’s something going on down here. Ritchie told me about KitAid and we’ve donated kits at the last collection too. It’s a great thought by everybody. Kids all over the world are benefiting and that’s what it’s all about.

“It’ll get bigger as the message gets out on social media and everybody gets to know about it. It’s such a good cause that everyone wants to get involved in, and if it keeps going it’ll be like a little conveyer belt sending kits out there, which is lovely.”

The next collection will be on Everton’s final game of the season at home to Watford in May.

About Joshua Doherty, JMU Journalism