A FOOTBALL-mad primary school pupil leaves a lasting legacy before heading off to secondary school

Oliver Evans, from Connah’s Quay, has combined his love of football with a passion of helping others and raised more than £1,700 towards maintaining their play area as well as a simple piece of equipment to stop Golftyn Primary School from losing several footballs a day.

The 11-year-old said: “Each junior class are allocated one dinner time in the week to play in what we call ‘the pen'. But it has an open top and in the last two years, we have lost about 12 footballs into people's gardens and, with us being in school, we are never able to retrieve them.

“Teachers would stop handing balls out after so many were lost which was really frustrating but it was obviously so we didn’t run out completely.”

Oliver, who plays with the Connah's Quay Nomads Academy under 12s team, decided to do something and organised a football tournament in October with his younger brother Lewis, 10, and friends Jack Foster and Conner Keeley, both 11, to fundraise for a net that would go over the enclosure and stop balls in their tracks that were kicked too high.

In total, the tournament raised close to £100 but the fundraising did not stop there.

The Year Six pupil, now heading to Connah’s Quay High School in September, approached local businesses for sponsorship which gathered an extra £390 - including a £200 donation from Ben Roberts at Keystone Estate Agents as well as setting up a public JustGiving page which hit its target of £150 and a further £125 in school-based donations after a letter was sent out to parents.

The biggest boost came after Aviva read Oliver’s idea online and hundreds of people voted on the company’s website for the project to receive their Aviva Community Fund. They were successful and this boosted their funds by a massive £1000.

The net was installed in June free of charge by Mike Farron of LGP Civil Engineering and Oliver says that things have gotten much better as a result already.

He added: “Since the net has been up for three weeks, we have not had a single ball go missing which is better for us all. Seeing the net actually work makes me feel really good.”

Funds raised were also used to complete work on the metal frame around the pen.

Mr Chris Boulton, a Year 5 teacher at the school, told the Leader how proud he was of Oliver for seeing this idea through.

He said: “Oliver is such a top kid and seeing bring his idea to life was brilliant, especially at such a young age. I’m very proud of him and what he has achieved – and so should he. The boys all worked together as a team to reach their goal so their determination cannot be faulted, which is a good quality to have in life.

“It was such a good idea to install the net and their willpower to get this net will mean other Golftyn children for years to come can enjoy a game of football in the pen without the risk of losing their ball.”