Fans put shirts on new charity project

Hundreds of football supporters have literally put their shirts on a kind-hearted charity appeal, after donating scores of replica tops to kit out football mad youngsters in South Africa. The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy teamed up with World Emergency Relief to launch a shirt amnesty, in an attempt to provide football kits for sporty youngsters in a developing community.   After issuing the charity call in December, fans have inundated Johnstone’s Paint decorating centres up and down the UK to drop off their treasured tops, with more than 900 jerseys having been collected for the cause. World Emergency Relief (WER) is an international development charity which works to address the needs of impoverished and disadvantaged children all over the world.   Former Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace star Mark Bright, the official ambassador of the project, was on hand to count the shirts at Millwall’s New Den ground, and celebrate the success of the initiative. “This shirt amnesty has really captured the imagination of fans up and down the country, and just goes to prove how generous football supporters really are," he said. “Every person who has donated a shirt deserves applause, as they will make a big difference to a youngster in a developing community.”   WER is working in partnership with South African Christian charity Monte Christo Ministries to develop a football and community programme in Paarl East, South Africa, called ‘Kick it into Play.’   All football shirts received will now be shipped out to Paarl East, where youngsters will be able to train and play in better quality kits.   Johnstone’s Paint Trophy marketing manager Sally Binns said: “We have been amazed by the generosity shown by so many football fans. To have received more than 900 shirts is a great achievement and we would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts.”   While WER director of operations Alex Haxton added: “We are thrilled to have partnered up with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the young people in South Africa will be greatly encouraged by the support received from so many football fans. Over 1000 young people are benefiting from WER’s football programme each week.” The football shirts collected by Johnstone’s Paints along with the cash donation of over £3,000 pounds has been sent to WER as part of their continued work in Paarl East, South Africa.    For more information on WER’s work in South Africa please visit   For all the latest news on the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, visit