Thursday 15 March 2012
The Premier League is again accepting applications for the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme.
All the Barclays Premier League Clubs and players - including Aston Villa star Gabriel Agbonlahor - are backing the initiative which provides schools, youth organisations and under-16 clubs in England and Wales with free football kit and equipment.
The squads of all 20 clubs have donated £25,000, ensuring a big pot of £500,000.
During the first phase of the application process there were nearly 2,000 applications and more than 350 teams were successful.
The Premier League and the Professional Footballers’ Association are currently distributing that kit.
"It's fantastic to be involved in this campaign. It means a lot to the kids"
- Gabriel Agbonlahor
To celebrate the beginning of the second phase, the Premier League is arranging for players from every team to donate a set of kits to a club local to them.
Villa forward Agbonlahor was the latest to help out - and he even threw in four pairs of his football boots for good measure.
Agbonlahor handed over the kits to members of Continental Star at Villa’s training ground of Bodymoor Heath.
It is a side his brother used to play for, so they are close to his heart. And he went a step further than most by handing over several pairs of his awesome boots, much to the amazement of the children.
He said: "It's fantastic to be involved in this campaign. It means a lot to the kids to receive kit.
"Even for the youngsters to come along to Bodymoor Heath is a big thing. That's massive. They looked so excited and that was fantastic to see.
"To see them go home with a big smile on their faces and new kit was tremendous.
"Hopefully a little of that Premier League magic will rub off on those pulling on the shirts and we'll see a few of them pulling on a real Premier League jersey in the not-too-distant future.
"But the biggest thing is having the opportunity to get out and have fun playing football."
Lincoln Moses, who runs Continental Star, added: "This scheme is an absolutely brilliant idea.
"It means that the young people in the U13s team will have their first brand new kit in four years. They've had to play in hand-me-down kit before, but now they have something totally new. It's great.
"We're the longest-running inner-city football team in England, we've been going for 26 years.
"This new scheme will undoubtedly help where it counts"
- Richard Scudamore
Gabby's a local lad so he must have known us. I think this scheme is brilliant and I think there should be more people taking notice of it."
The idea originated at a meeting between the Premier League, delegates from the PFA and captains from all Barclays Premier League Clubs.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said: "The PFA and the Premier League players are to be congratulated for developing this important scheme as a league-wide initiative.
"Our players are the guys who put on the show all the way through the season but they are also very aware of the role their clubs play at the heart of their communities to positively change lives for the better. This new scheme will undoubtedly help where it counts."
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor added: "Our members do much more than entertain fans on the pitch and I'm proud of the fact that players donate so much to charitable causes.
"This is a new initiative for our players to be involved in but it is one I hope will encourage more tens of thousands of young people to participate and enjoy football."