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Fast-food boss to the rescue for footballers
A YOUTH football club has had a pre-season boost after a fast-food restaurant stepped in to replace goalposts stolen earlier this year.
Swindon Rangers FC have been given a helping hand by local McDonald’s franchisee Paul Booth, who has provided the team with new goalposts after seeing a report in the Adver that the North Wiltshire Youth and Minor League team had their own set taken mid-season.
Paul, who runs six outlets in the town, also donated a new kit for the club, and football equipment, which he presented to the under-10s team with North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson last night.
Clint Ricketts, manager at Swindon Rangers FC, said the donation had come just in time for the new football season, starting on September 8.
“The kids are so excited to have new goalposts to try out and love their new kit, which has helped create a genuine sense of unity and team spirit,” said dad-of-three Clint, 42.
“Hopefully this will help them kick on and have a great season.
“It was a bit of a nightmare as we had to cancel and rearrange games and beg, borrow and steal some goals. It had a knock-on effect on the kids.
“We did have one set of goals from an elderly couple who saw it in the Adver – their grandchildren had grown up so they were happy to give them away.
“Then Justin Tomlinson got on board and contacted Paul.
“We will have to make sure the goals are secured now, which will mean taking them apart each time and probably taking them home. It’s a shame we have to do that though.”
Paul plans to continue his support for Swindon Rangers and has since twinned the club with his Cockleberry restaurant as part of the McDonald’s Community Football Programme.
To help raise the standards of grassroots football, the programme encourages more people to get involved in the game as players, supporters or coaches, with kit and equipment donations.
He said: “We were really saddened to hear that the local football team had their goalposts taken and we were so pleased that we were able to help.
“We try to support the local community wherever we can and we are thrilled to be sponsoring the club moving forward.
“The new kit is a fine reward for the enthusiasm and quality that the players and coaches show each and every week.
“I wish the club the best of luck ahead of the new season.”
Mr Tomlinson said: “I’m delighted to be able to donate this equipment to the Swindon Rangers FC.
“It’s great to see local businesses such as Paul’s supporting the local community and lending a hand to keep our youth clubs thriving.
“With the help of their new kit and equipment, I can’t wait to see Swindon Rangers go from strength to strength.”
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