Ashington AFC building up its reputation in Africa
One of Northumberland’s longest established football clubs has helping bring joy to people thousands of miles away.
Ashington AFC has donated a set of first team kits to a group in Gambia.
The club was approached by a contact in the Africa country to see if they had any old kits, boots or balls that they could donate to villagers, and were delighted to send over a full set of home kits.
Club chairman Brian Shotton said it was a way of promoting the club in the community and doing something positive.
"Every other year we turn over our strips and get new kit,” he said.
"We decided to donate stuff we no longer use to a worthy cause.
"It’s great to see the young lads wearing our stuff. It’s great for the club and great for them.
"We’ve just sent another two kits out there to them.
"This is the first year we’ve done this but it’s something we will look to continue to do in the future when we’ve finished with our old kits. It’s better than them just sitting in a cupboard here.”
He added: “We’re proud of what we do locally with community organisations but football is a universal language.
"To send something over to Gambia where they don’t have a lot and to see how excited they were to put on their Ashington shirts was quite proud for us as well.”
Brian said it was great to see a full team wearing the same kit, rather than individual ones and it would help raise the profile of Ashington in the country.
"We’ve got a long history, we’re a well established club so hopefully people in Gambia will now learn about Ashington.
"I’ve seen people in individual or different strips but when you see a full team kit like this, it looks great.”
The club are preparing for their new season in Northern League Division One, which they hope will take place this year after the previous campaign was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Brian said: “As things stand, the season will go ahead. It’ll be good to get people back into the ground and have a full season.”