Dec 20 2012 by Rob Pattinson, Ormskirk Advertiser
YOUNG footballers in Ormskirk are following in the footsteps of the superstars of Barcelona – by sporting the logo of a childrens’ charity on their shirts.
Ormskirk West End U13s have been proudly supporting the Legacy Rainbow House this season.
The Mawdesley-based charity specialises in providing services for children with brain injuries, disabilities and life-limiting conditions.
Most junior football teams carry the logo of sponsors, who buy the team kit and advertise their business on the shirts.
But West End U13s manager Dave Gornall decided to try and mirror Catalonian giants FC Barcelona, who supported children’s charity Unicef by featuring it on their shirts between 2006 and 2011 rather than signing a deal with a corporate sponsor.
Dave told the Advertiser: “I thought it would be good if Ormskirk West End could be like Barcelona when they had Unicef on their shirts.
“So I was delighted when Steven Rose, who is one of my players’ parents, agreed to buy the kit and let me put Rainbow House on the front.
“It’s a fantastic charity that we can help raise awareness for through this. I’d like to get our kids down there to meet the children they care for and really see why we are doing this. We are a team of young fit lads so for them to understand about those who don’t have that would be really good.”
West End’s U16s also now carry the charity’s logo, while the club has a link to Rainbow House on its website.
And so far, the decision to emulate Barcelona has proved a lucky charm. The U13s have shot to the top of the Skelmersdale Junior Football League, with six wins and two defeats in their first eight games.
And Dave said: “When I first gave the kits out I told our players how they were going to be like Barcelona now with a charity on their shirts, and that we needed to start playing like them too. Like Barcelona, we encourage our kids to get the ball down and pass it around. We’ve been playing really well so far and the lads are proud to be helping support Rainbow House by raising awareness for them on their shirts.
“If we can carry this form on I hope we will be able to take the lads down to Rainbow House at the end of the season with the trophy.”
Sonia Harris, from the Legacy Rainbow House, said : “I’m really proud of them for doing this. It’s a wonderful idea. It’s all about raising awareness – one parent might see the kit, ask what we do and we might be able to help their child.”
For more information on the charity visit www. thelegacy-rainbowhouse.com