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Story posted: Tuesday, 26th September 2006

Boots 4 Africa Appeal
Dan Douglas and other Gresley players supporting the Burton Mail Boots 4 Africa Appeal (photo courtesy of Burton Mail)

Dan Douglas and other Gresley players supporting the Burton Mail Boots 4 Africa Appeal (photo courtesy of Burton Mail)

The Burton Mail have launched Boots 4 Africa Appeal and has been given a flying start thanks to Burton and South Derbyshire's top non- League football clubs.
The appeal — which aims to collect old football boots and trainers for underprivileged young footballers in the African nation of The Gambia — got off the ground at the weekend when the first pair of boots was donated by William Clough, son of Burton Albion manager Nigel, before the Brewers' home game against Northwich.

And the effort was given a further lift last night when players from Gresley Rovers added more boots to the collection under the watchful eye of Rovers' mascot Elvis Gresley.

Rovers' chairman Mark Evans said: "Manager Gary Norton and the players thought it was a great idea to back the Mail's appeal.

"Every season hundreds of pairs of boots end up going into the skip so it's great that The Mail has come up with a way of disposing of used boots and trainers in a far more worthy way. We hope we can help some aspiring young African footballers to make real progress in the game because of the appeal."

Burton Mail Boots 4 Africa AppealBoots 4 Africa is the idea of Mail deputy editor Andy Parker who visited The Gambia last year and saw first hand how hundreds of youngsters play football in their bare feet because of the prohibitive cost of buying boots in the impoverished nation.

"I thought about all the boots I'd thrown away over the years and thought this would be a much better use for them. I know every pair of boots that is sent to The Gambia will be really appreciated," he said.

Now The Mail is hoping readers will get behind the appeal by dropping off unwanted boots and trainers at The Mail's offices in High Street, Burton, or Belmont Street, Swadlincote, or at the offices of the Mail's sister papers, The Uttoxeter Advertiser in Market Place, Uttoxeter, or The Ashbourne News Telegraph, in Market Place, Ashbourne.
The closing date for the appeal is Friday, October 27.

The Mail's campaign is being supported by travel company The Gambia Experience, which already performs charitable work in The Gambia. More information is available by visiting www.gambia.co.uk/travel
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