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09 May 2018

BY James Chapple

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Westoe Travel boss to deliver dozens of football shirts to Kenyan youth

South Shields’ Westoe Travel could soon create a new generation of Magpies and Black Cats in Africa.

Graeme Brett, Westoe Travel
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"It’s raised about £70,000 so far. It’s fantastic, and humbling. The whole community has really got behind this."

The agency’s director Graeme Brett has been collecting football at the store and will fly out to Nakuru, Kenya, this week on a Travelpack fam trip to deliver them.

 

He’ll also visit Victoria Falls and South Africa.


Brett explained how he visited Kenya 12 years ago and was struck by how important football was to youngsters there.


“It’s really snowballed,” he said. “I just asked a few friends to donate them. I was expecting about a dozen, but we’ve already got 86.”


Colin Fawcus and Nancy Cuggy from DFDS Seaways dropped in to deliver 29 shirts, while South Shields Rugby Club has donated 20 of its own, which will be given to a local team to wear.


“We’ve had a lot of Newcastle and Sunderland shirts too,” he said. “Fans don’t seem to have a use for them – probably as South Shields are doing so well. People get very attached to their football shirts… they want to see them go to a good home.”


Meanwhile, the agency is preparing to help turn South Shields pink and blue on the first anniversary of the Manchester bombing on May 22, in memory of its apprentice Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, who were killed in the attack.


Chloe’s uncle, Glenn Rowe, who founded the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, has led the campaign, encouraging schools and businesses to take part in memory of the couple – and in defiance of terrorism.


The trust raises money to help young people achieve their potential, after the lives of talented performer Chloe and aspiring cricketer Liam were cut short.


“It’s raised about £70,000 so far,” said Graeme. “It’s fantastic, and humbling. The whole community has really got behind this."


Around 30 schools and 300 businesses are expected to take part.

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