A TEAM of kind-hearted footballers are hoping to get Ugandan children to take up the sport they love after donating more than 50 football shirts.

The young footballers decided to make the donation after their club, Silver End Youth Football Club, organised a collection.

The collection saw the shirts donated as well as shorts, socks, boots, shinpads and goalkeeper gloves.

The kits will form part of a larger shipment which the Essex charity Boots2Africa is putting together.

The shipment will be sent to east Africa in the next few weeks.

The drive was spearheaded by Silver End Under-14s coach Dave Wilkins.

He said “We have been very fortunate over the years to have had the support of local and national companies who have generously sponsored our playing kit, so the boys always have shirts and shorts that fit.

“We hope these companies would be proud that this will now go on to inspire another generation of young players.”

Under-14s captain George Puckey added: “We are lucky to get a new kit every couple of years.

“It’s great to be able to share that with children who have very little, and we hope they enjoy playing in it as much as we have.

“It’s amazing to think that children in Africa will soon be wearing the same shirts that we wore for matches in Essex.”

Boots2Africa have sent 22,000 pairs of boots to a number of countries in Africa, as well as kits for a range of sports.

The charity’s Iain Finch said: “Millions of children in Africa have no shoes for school, let alone playing sport.

“Thanks to the generosity of clubs like Silver End and their supporters, we can make a real difference, and level the playing field for some of them.”

Dave Wilkins added “Silver End Youth FC prides itself at being very community focused.

“Whether that’s locally, with events like our upcoming Festival of Football on July 2 , or further away through Boots2Africa, we know the power of sport can make a real difference.”