Blog template Rock the Crossbar: May 2007

Rock the Crossbar

Sunday, May 13

Football gear for players in Sierra Leone

I realize this blog hasn't been that active lately - most likely due to the fact that the season is winding down save the FA Cup final and the CL final. Of course, City just did enough to avoid relegation (again) and it looks like we're about to lose our best, most combative player. Typical.

What is not typical is the following: I'm organizing an effort to collect used football gear for players in the war-ravaged land of Sierra Leone in West Africa. I helped start a supporters' branch for MCFC in the USA recently and it turns out that there is a branch established in Sierra Leone that fields its own youth team.

Gents, we can really use your help! Please take the time to copy the following message and email it to your extensive lists of email contacts. If you would like to help, email me.

Thanks so much,


The Red, White and Sky Blues are the official USA supporters’ club of Manchester City FC. We are a branch of the team’s Centenary Supporters Association and we would sincerely appreciate your attention to the following matter.

The West African nation of Sierra Leone suffered through a civil war that lasted more than a decade and claimed at least 50,000 lives. The current life expectancy in the country is just 38 years for men and 43 years for women. Devastation, poverty and hunger have all reigned supreme in recent years.

Through the game of football (soccer), however, one man is attempting to make a difference and it is our intention to help further his efforts.

Like all of us in the Red, White and Sky Blues, Armani Sheku Kamara is a fervent supporter of Manchester City FC. In his war-ravaged and impoverished homeland, Mr. Kamara has somehow organized both a supporters’ club and a squad of players that competes against similar teams from other villages. The dire circumstances of the recent past in Sierra Leone have made his accomplishments remarkable enough; now, our supporters’ club is getting involved to hopefully bolster the entire soccer community there.

It is our sincere intention to assist Mr. Kamara and all of the soccer players of Sierra Leone through the collection of used equipment from the youth, high school, college and adult participants throughout Massachusetts. I'm starting here in my home state in the USA, but I hope that you will be able to get involved regardless of your location.

We need your help. We need you to encourage your players, coaches, parents, family members, administrators, fans and friends to donate their old soccer gear to the impoverished players of Sierra Leone. We need you to spread the word about this project to newspapers, magazines, radio stations and web sites. We need you to collect old uniforms, used cleats, balls and all other soccer-related materials so that we may ship the materials to players in West Africa.

We need you, as members of the soccer community of the world, to get involved.

In a recent email, Mr. Kamara sent us his request:

“We need soccer equipment. Balls, shoes, socks, etc. We lack basic soccer equipment and it is very hard in the second poorest country in the world to set up a team. I have a budget of $2 for 24 players and that comes out of my own pocket.

“Please, I am ashamed to ask and I hesitate to ask but it is very, very hard in Sierra Leone as our country has gone over twelve years of rebel wars, the most brutal civil war in the world in which people’s limbs were amputated and many lost their loved ones. It is only through soccer that we have been able to move forward to try to forget about the past.

“Please, we will be very happy and grateful to receive soccer equipment and any financial help from you and we will be delighted to receive anything that you will be able to help us out with here. We look forward to hearing from you and this development is going to help the youth players, many who have great talent in my country. Thank you.”


If you would like to help us, please respond at your earliest convenience. At the very least, we would sincerely appreciate it if you could forward this message out to your entire list of contacts. As well, please contact us with any suggestions or questions.

We will be happy to meet with you to discuss this idea. Please visit our web site at the address listed below to see a few pictures of Mr. Kamara's players in Sierra Leone.

Sincere regards,
George Cuddy
Red, White and Sky Blues
Manchester City FC Centenary Supporters Association
USA Branch
Web site: