Man saves youth football team after appealing for help at ASDA store in Wisbech

A MAN has defied the recession and saved his newly-formed youth football team after raising �350 in one day by appealing for help in a supermarket foyer.

Generous staff and shoppers at ASDA in Wisbech donated the staggering amount on August 26 as John Middleton, manager of Wisbech St Mary Under-7s, faced entering his first season as a manager without a kit.

Mr Middleton spent seven hours in the entrance with youngsters from his team and was overwhelmed by the amount of money that poured in to support their cause.

“I couldn’t believe it to be honest,” he said.

“I had done a lot of ringing factories and businesses and couldn’t get anybody to sponsor us. A lot said they’d already helped other teams and others said they couldn’t do anything in a recession.

“Many people laughed at me when I said I was going to stand in the foyer at Asda but it’s me who’s been left smiling.”

The money that was raised allowed the team to buy two new kits, footballs and training equipment just in time to begin their season today.

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Mr Middleton has been involved in football around the area for his whole life and now looks forward to giving something back to the game he loves.

He said: “This team is for the kids as I want to keep them off the streets.

“I take them from the ages of four and if they can get into football now they may stay in the game for a long time like I have.

“The kids are over the moon that they have two kits and that we can actually start our first season together.

“The generosity of people during a recession was overwhelming. It’s done a massive amount for this football team and I can’t thank those that donated enough.”

The side are still desperately looking for new players to join the team.

For further information contact John Middleton on 01945 581207.