Football mad soldier brings Blackburn Rovers to Kenya
6:00pm Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
A FOOTBALL-mad soldier is doing his best to turn Kenya blue and white by donating Blackburn Rovers shirts, hats and scarves.
Rovers fan Darren Gudgeon is based in Nairobi and helps to train the Kenyan Army while also providing food, shelter and medical care for an orphanage.
The Rovers Trust has teamed up with the club in a bid to support Cpl Gudgeon and appealed for donations of kit to be sent out.
When Cpl Gudgeon, who is with the Royal Logistic Corp, arrived at the orphanage, five of the children had HIV and were in a bad way, but through various donations, their health improved.
Rovers fans have now been asked to donate any unwanted or spare items of kit they might have and Blackburn Rovers has agreed Ewood Park can be the collection point, as well as helping with the appeal.
Cpl Gudgeon, 33, a father-of-two who is married to Kirsty, said: “I would love to see them kitted out in blue and white.
“I showed them footage of a Rovers game on my iPad and they were fascinated, not only by the football, but by the iPad too. It was like something from the future to them.
“Any small donations would be amazing and the kids and adults who look after them would be so grateful.
“It is nice to see the children having fun and playing football.
“Kenya is a very tough place to live and donations from Rovers fans would help them to escape the harsh realities of life.”
As well as serving in Kenya, Cpl Gudgeon has also served with the British Army in Cyprus, Germany, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Simon Barnes, secretary of the Rovers Trust, will handle the logistics of transporting donated items to Kenya.
He said: “This is one of the many important initiatives the Rovers Trust is successfully working on for members and the supporter base as a whole.
“We will take any football kit in good condition, especially shirts, hats, scarves and gloves.”
Anyone with spare items of kit can donate them at Ewood Park where a special bin will be located inside the Rovers store.
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