A Ugandan orphanage’s unlikely fascination with English football team AFC Bournemouth has resulted in its children receiving thousands of pounds of sports kit in time for Christmas.
The children living in Bugembe were inspired by the club’s rise through the leagues, and videos of them cheering on their team were posted on social media.
This prompted some of the Dorset club’s fans and captain Steve Cook to send the orphanage football kit and equipment.
Fans hope to raise more funds online.
Bournemouth’s climb from the bottom of League Two to spending five seasons in the Premier League captured imaginations around the world.
The children at Ibun Primary School, a community orphanage and football academy, were encouraged by their coach Joshua Kiizza to learn from those achievements.
Mr Kiizza shot videos of the children chanting for Bournemouth and took photos of them gathered around a radio listening to their matches on BBC Radio Solent.
Cherries fan Steve Butler spotted some of the posts on Twitter and started raising money to send football supplies to the orphanage.
Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world and Mr Butler said he wanted to do something to help the children in time for Christmas.
“I thought ‘these children need some help – and hopefully we can give them that’ so I started a GoFundMe page that has raised just over £2,600.”
The equipment has since arrived in Uganda and Bournemouth captain Cook has also sent club shirts, goalkeepers’ gloves and training kits.
“[The coaches at the orphanage] are obviously doing a really good job – the children out there always seem to be smiling in every picture,” he said.
“Hopefully we can get promotion [back to the Premier League] and see some more smiles.”