Footie-mad youngsters across the globe are to benefit from the kindness of a dad-of-three after he launched a football shirt appeal.
Faruk Bhayat, 42, from Fulwood, Preston, is flying to Palestine this summer to help organise a five-a-side tournament in Bethlehem.
The four-day event in August will see children from refugee camps in the West Bank make friends and compete for trophies and medals.
Faruk, who works in North West Motors media sales at the Evening Post, is looking for football shirts for the players to wear as they emulate their heroes in the English Premier League.
He said: “My friend Charlie Malik has been going to Palestine for a couple of years.
“The first year he went out off his own bat. He got a football and started having a kick about with the kids in the streets and it took off from there. The second year he organised a tournament between a couple of refugee camps.
“This year he has secured a football ground, the Al-Khader Stadium, just outside of Bethlehem.
“Football helps break down barriers.”
While in Palestine the group also hope to provide activities for disabled children and organise a party at an orphanage.
And with the help of his friend Anwar Sheikh, from Preston, Faruk intends to plant up to 100 olive trees, to replace vegetation destroyed by occupying Israeli forces.
He said: “I went to Palestine last year. I went to Jerusalem and it’s a lovely city, but when you go outside to the refugee camps and the small towns, that’s where the real poverty is.
“A lot of the kids have nothing to do.
“After I got back I got in touch with Charlie and asked what I could do to help.
“The olive trees are a very good source of food.
“But trees that have been there for hundreds of years have just been bulldozed and a lot of charities are trying to plant thousands of trees in more secure locations.”
The tournament will feature around 30 Under 18s teams from the Aida, Azza and Dheisheh refugee camps.
Faruk said: “When the kids see us they love it.
“Football is the main topic because they are mad about it.
“This football shirt appeal is because they all love wearing football shirts from this country, but they can’t afford them.”
You can donate football shirts of all sizes at the Evening Post offices in Oliver’s Place, Fulwood, Preston, or by calling Faruk on 07912639468.