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Kenya the setting as Wrexham take on Shrews

Published date: 10 January 2014 |
Published by: Charlie Croasdale
Read more articles by Charlie Croasdale


 

KENYA might not be the first place which springs to mind as a hotbed of Wrexham FC supporters.

But that might be about to change after an unusual derby match played out at a Kenyan orphanage.

The match, which saw teenagers from the capital city Nairobi don the famous kits of the Reds and old rivals Shrewsbury Town, ended in a draw but Shrewsbury won on penalties.

It was just one match held as part of a charity tournament at the orphanage organised by Bill and Lynn Morris, of Ellesmere, who founded the Kenyan Schools Project charity.

The couple travelled to the Kenyan capital to watch youngsters play in kits donated by the two rival clubs.

They joined coach Edward Mbugua, from support organisation Elevate Kenya, for the Hope Cup tournament, where they could see the youngsters play in kits they have been donating for three years.

Mr and Mrs Morris have raised more than £35,000 for underprivileged youngsters and schools in Kenya and the latest trip to the East African country was their 17th.
Mr Morris said it was “heartwarming” to see the response of the children.

“When we gave them their football kits, they just smiled from ear to ear,” he said.

“The kids were just so happy to receive the shirts. It was heartwarming.

“Fifteen teams played and fittingly the team from the host orphanage won the final – in their Shrewsbury kit – on penalties.

“These kids have got nothing, actually they’ve got less than that, so it’s just nice that we can do something for them through football.”

Despite a successful tournament, the visit did not run as smoothly as they couple had hoped.

Three pallets of football kit, stationery equipment and other items were held at customs, meaning they were unable to donate to all 13 of the schools and orphanages the charity supports.

Mr Morris added: “Fortunately we had 15 kits with us so each team got a set of kit.

Without the Shrewsbury and Wrexham kits the teams wouldn’t have been able to wear matching shirts, and we are very thankful to both clubs for their generosity.”

The couple used charity money they took to Kenya with them to buy books and equipment for the children.

They travelled to areas surrounding Kenya’s second city Mombasa.

They also visited carpenters in Ukunda and Kwale who have built desks for schools supported by the charity.

Kenyan Schools Project began in 2004 when Mr and Mrs Morris went on holiday to Kenya and were inspired to donate to help poorer communities.

They were both made patrons of Elevate Kenya during their visit and hope to return to Kenya in August for another tournament and fundraising effort.

For more information about Kenyan Schools Project or to donate visit www.kenyanschoolsproject.co.uk

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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