Landlords across the North East are asking football fans to dig out their old strips and donate them to the charity Project Fair Play.
The organisation launched in 2010 and took 20,000 donated team shirts to disadvantaged children in the townships of South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town.
But with another World Cup looming the charity is back, this time requesting donations to go to youngsters in the favelas of Brazil.
And its efforts are being supported by seven of the region’s pubs, which have set up collection points.
Kathleen Morris, general manager at The Swan in Heddon on the Wall, Northumberland said knowing the unwanted shirts were helping children on the other side of the world would make this summer’s tournament all the more special.
“Project Fair Play is set to make this year’s Football World Cup even more special as we enjoy the on-pitch excitement knowing we’re helping to make football a fantastic experience for youngsters,” she said.
Project Fair Play collection points have been set up at The Coulby Farm in Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, The Swan in Heddon on the Wall, The Magic Lantern in North Shields, the Royal Marine and Sandcastle in Sunderland, the Anson in Wallsend, and the Monkseaton Arms in Whitley Bay.
The donated strips will be split between the Brazillian slums – including projects in the Parada de Lucas, Santa Teresa and Rocinha areas of Rio De Janerio – and a British charity, the Wheelchair Football Association, which will sell some of the strips to raise funds.
“We are delighted that the WFA were chosen to be part of and benefit from Project Fair Play,” WFA national development manager Sam Bull said.
“All football fans from across the world will unite for the World Cup and all our Powerchair Football clubs and players will be joining the party and donating shirts too.
“The Project Fair Play money we receive will be used to provide opportunities for people with high levels of impairment to play the sport they love.”
In 2010 the volume of shirts donated was more than the equivalent of 68 times the weight of England captain Steven Gerrard, and the charity hope this year will see even more.
To donate visit one of the pubs, or for more information about where the shirts will go visit the Project Fair Play website.