Tractor Boys shirts help Rwanda

IPSWICH Town fans have responded generously to a church group's appeal for football shirts to take to Rwanda.Thanks to some new year kindness from Blues supporters, the group from Ipswich waterfront churches will have 150 home and away shirts packed in their luggage when they fly out to the central African country next month.

IPSWICH Town fans have responded generously to a church group's appeal for football shirts to take to Rwanda.

Thanks to some new year kindness from Blues supporters, the group from Ipswich waterfront churches will have 150 home and away shirts packed in their luggage when they fly out to the central African country next month.

As the African Nations cup reaches its climax, the group of nine, led by Rev Paul Daltry of St Helen's Church, will give out the shirts to football-mad Rwandan youth groups, whom they hope will become avid Town fans from more than 6,000 miles away.

They will also arrive with four laptop computers to help equip a new theological college.

The trip will mark the latest development in the link between the three waterfront parishes - St Helen, Holy Trinity and St Clement with St Luke's - and Anglicans in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.

In recent years the parishes have donated thousands of pounds to support projects in the city, as well as others in the north and east of the country. These have included tree-growing schemes, water tank installations and training programmes for pastors.

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Mr Daltry, who worked in a Rwandan mission station for six years before arriving in Ipswich, said the group were grateful to all the fans that contributed: “We would like to say a very big 'thank you' for their generosity - it will mean a lot to the children in Rwanda.

“Football is of big interest to them and for them to be able to identify with a team in Britain will mean a great deal. It is a privilege to be taking the shirts to them and to be helping them learn to play games together and grow communities through it all.”