Youngsters at Kirkburton Junior Football Club are aiming to inspire a nationwide campaign to donate outgrown or unwanted kits to under-privileged communities in Africa.
Young players at the Kirkburton club have collectively donated 160 kits to the Jordan Sinnott Foundation, set up in memory of the former Huddersfield Town youth team player.
And today – the third anniversary of Jordan’s death – the Foundation has launched a national appeal for junior football clubs to donate pre-loved shirts which will be distributed overseas by the charity KitAid.
As a thank you to Kirkburton, the Foundation sent two of its representatives to the club on Monday night for a very special training session.
Town stars Danny Ward, a trustee of the Foundation, and Duane Holmes – a recently-appointed ambassador – joined TV chef Tim Bilton and other Kirkburton coaches to lead a training session for 23 young players.
Jordan Sinnott (left) and (right hand image) Danny Ward (left) and Duane Holmes with Jordan’s daughter Maisie at the Kirkburton training session
Also joining in the fun was two-and-a-half year old Maisie, Jordan’s daughter, who stole a few hearts as she joined in the kickabout.
Maisie was there with mum Kelly Bossons, Jordan’s partner, who said: “It was a fabulous night and the kids loved every minute, meeting Danny and Duane and getting autographs and pictures.”
The idea for the kit donation came from Kirkburton chairman Dave Jowett who said there was so much outgrown kit put away in drawers and going to waste.
He asked junior players and their parents to dig out the old kit and donate it – and then reached out to the Foundation.
The Foundation, set up in November 2021, had previously collected shirts from around the world with ‘Sinnott 25’ on the back – Jordan’s age when he died and also the date of his death.
Kit came from some of the biggest clubs in the world and some of the smallest and more than 1,000 shirts were donated to KitAid.
Kelly said: “We wanted to do something on our third anniversary but it’s a tough time for everybody right now and we didn’t want to do anything to put any more financial pressure on families.
“So when Dave approached us with this idea we were excited to get involved. Speaking to parents the other night, the kids had an emotional attachment to these old kits but when their parents explained where they were going, they couldn’t donate them quick enough!
“These kits weren’t needed anymore and this is about recycling and re-purposing and the donation of these shirts to people who have got very little can be life-changing.”
If one club can donate 160 kits then a national campaign could see the Foundation overwhelmed but Kelly said: “That would be a nice problem to have!”
Jordan died after being attacked on a night out in Retford, Nottinghamshire, on January 25 2020. The former Bury, Altrincham, Halifax Town, Chesterfield and Alfreton Town midfielder was on loan at Matlock Town at the time.
Kelly, 29, said Jordan would be really proud of the work going on in his name and added: “Jordan would help anyone. He was kind and selfless and wouldn’t walk past a homeless person without offering to buy them a coffee.
“He wouldn’t judge anyone by what was in their bank account. He was just the best person.”
Gallery of images by: SEAN DOYLE
Unbeknown to Jordan, Kelly was four weeks pregnant with their daughter Maisie when he died.
Kelly said: “Maisie will never know her dad but through everything we are doing for the Foundation we will give her something to look back on when she grows up. Through the work of the Foundation she will know how well loved her dad was and what an impact he had on so many people’s lives.”
At only two-and-a-half Maisie is already showing a love for football – and an understanding of the handball rule.
“When we were collecting the balls at the end of the training session Maisie was kicking the balls and I told her to pick them up instead. She said: ‘No, mummy. This is football.’ So she’s already getting to know the rules of the game!”
Youngsters at Kirkburton were also asked to design a poster to promote the Foundation’s work. The winner received a signed Huddersfield Town shirt with Sinnott 25 on the back.
Foundation trustee and former Huddersfield Town Academy player Matt Crooks, now at Middlesbrough, said: “Three years have passed since Jordan left us and we are commemorating today to launch our new initiative alongside our long standing friends, KitAid.
“This will see us collect unwanted new/used/old football shirts. We want to spread these kits to people who need them most. KitAid does a fantastic job of recycling shirts and distributing them worldwide; almost a million pieces of kit over the last 25 years.”
The Foundation is looking for the donation of shirts only and they must be clean and in good condition.
Clubs wanting to donate shirts should e-mail the Foundation on firstname.lastname@example.org