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Soccer ace Nick Blackman scores for charity

GETTING SHIRTY: Nick Blackman

DERBY COUNTY striker Nick Blackman and a forward thinking supporter group, the Punjabi Rams, have come together to launch an initiative to help less fortunate communities.

Charities and communities in Barbados and India will benefit from the shirt appeal. Fans of all clubs are encouraged to get involve and! Donations welcome until the 31st of January 2017.

#NicksKitCollection encourages fans and players of all clubs to get involved by donating their old shirts to those less fortunate overseas. The collaboration means that the kits will be distributed to those in Barbados - where Nick has family and has been helping communities for a number of years - as well as the Punjabi Rams chosen charity based in India, Slum Soccer, an organisation that uses football to try and bring about change in the lives of street dwellers.

Blackman recently funded and donated a large quantity of brand new football boots and shirts to the local community on a recent trip to Barbados, where he was visiting family.

The 27-year-old shared a picture on social media of the Derby County shirts he sent back to the island, which prompted the supporters group Punjabi Rams to get in touch and the result is a great joint initiative.

Club ambassador, Michael Johnson, has also given the shirt appeal his full backing and support.

Blackman said: “I really hope this initiative can help the less fortunate in Barbados and India. I’m incredibly pleased to be doing this alongside the Punjabi Rams - a fantastic supporter group who I am proud to partner with on this.

“Barbados is a special place for me - as I have family there and love going back in the summer. People will know the popular holiday destination for the great beaches, weather and food - but there are also less fortunate communities living on the island. I got to know lots of the guys living in difficult conditions through kick abouts on the beach - and promised them I’d do what I could to help. Ever since I’ve been sending back shirts and boots to assist.

“This initiative will help less fortunate people - not only in Barbados but on the streets of India as well. I want to thank all those who donate in advance.”


IN THE THICK OF IT: Blackman (centre) in action for Derby County

Pav Samra, of Punjabi Rams, said: “When we formed as a supporters group 2 years ago we made a commitment to try and do our bit for charity and when Nick posted the picture we thought it was a great opportunity for a new project.

“We sometimes forget how privileged we are to be able to watch our team week in week ,so it's great to help two causes that use football to make a real positive difference to people's lives. We really hope fellow Derby fans get behind this project and hopefully we can make a few more Rams fans along the way.

“We've got to say a massive thanks to Nick for wanting to partner up, he's been supportive since day 1 and he really does dismiss some of the stereotypes that people have about the modern footballer.”

How to donate:

- There will be a Shirt Amnesty Box at the Derby County Football Club Megastore.

- If you are not a Derby fan or cannot get to the ticket office, please contact punjabirams@gmail.com you will be provided with a postal address.

- Donations will be welcomed until January 31, 2017.

For more information on the shirt appeal please contact Mie Oestergaard on 07780 214865

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