Passion of East Anglia to reach Africa

IPSWICH versus Norwich is one of football's greatest rivalries - and now the passion of the East Anglian derby will reach Africa thanks to a Suffolk man's aid effort.

IPSWICH versus Norwich is one of football's greatest rivalries - and now the passion of the East Anglian derby will reach Africa thanks to a Suffolk man's aid effort.

Blues fan Daniel Watson is appealing for old Town and City shirts to take to Zambia and hand out to footy-mad youngsters who can take to the field and recreate the fervour and excitement of the real thing.

Mr Watson, 32, of Bucklesham Road, Ipswich, is spending at least three months in the poverty-stricken country working with children of at an AIDS orphanage and school in Livingstone, near Victoria Falls.

Because part of his voluntary work will centre on sports coaching, Mr Watson came up with the idea of staging the derby thousands of miles away from its usual locations at Portman Road and Carrow Road.


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He said: “I was thinking that in order to raise awareness and get some support I needed to think of something a bit different.

“I thought the best way would be through football so I decided to try to create an East Anglian derby in Zambia.

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“I'm looking for shirts and footballs, any kit really, but especially Ipswich and Norwich shirts. If I can get the shirts, I can take them all over with me and we can start getting together a team.”

The Britannia Stand season ticket holder and keen amateur player jets out to Africa on September 29 and begins his placement on October 2.

Along with sport-related activities, Mr Watson will also work as a teaching and medical assistant at the orphanage, which houses several hundred children.

He said: “It's come around quite quickly but I'm really looking forward to it. It's the first time I have done anything like this but it's something I have always wanted to do.

“I wanted to give up a bit of my time to other people and I was in a position to give up my job in engineering in London and actually do it.

“I hope the children will be able to form teams and the derby idea will bring a bit of unity to the place.”

Mr Watson will be collecting shirts, kit and footballs next to the Sir Bobby Robson statue in Portman Road from 2pm before Ipswich's game with Sunderland on Saturday .

Alternatively, those wishing to donate items can bring them to The Evening Star's offices in Lower Brook Street.

Are you embarking on a charity drive with a difference? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Zambia has a population of 11 million. The life expectancy is 38 for men and 37 for women

Top five Ipswich victories over the old rivals

1 Ipswich Town 5 - 0 Norwich City: February 21, 1998

2 Norwich City 1 - 5 Ipswich Town: September 13, 1947

3 Norwich 3 - 4 Ipswich Town: February 3, 1968

4 Ipswich Town 4 - 0 Norwich City: March 27, 1978

5 Norwich City 1 - 2 Ipswich Town: February 5, 2006

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