THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Refugees Are Our Football Family T-shirts available from Philosophy Football

Request for scarf donations as winter approaches

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10 September ~ The first Spanish player in the English league? A Basque refugee from the Spanish Civil War. Scorer of Blackpool’s fourth and winning goal in the Matthews Cup Final? A refugee from the racist South African regime. What have Ferenc Puskas and Zlatan Ibrahimovic got in common? Name the Balkan conflicts members of the Swiss squad who faced England at Wembley this week were refugees from?

Sometimes pub quiz questions can reveal hidden histories to explain not only the past but the present too.

Refugees Are Our Football Family launched by Philosophy Football is backed by WSC, with all profits going to Doctors of the World who staff the only medical clinic operating in the Calais Refugee Camp. They also have other clinics in refugee camps across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

Philosophy Football’s Hugh Tisdale produced the fundraising T-shirt and explains: “The united club colours symbolise football as us, not me, that’s the game at its best – a community of localities and nations together.” Mark Perryman from Philosophy football describes the ambition “To raise a lot of money going directly to where the help is needed most, backed by hundreds, thousands, of fans wearing the message that our’s is a football culture that is open, welcoming with a human generosity of spirit.”

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Raising funds will be the principle focus accompanied by a symbolic solidarity but as winter approaches conditions in the camps will worsen. Fans from every club across Britain and beyond are being asked to send in old club scarves. Woollens are on the list of goods the refugee charities most need and fans can help out with lorryloads of scarves taken to the camp by a Wembley to Calais convoy. Mark calls this a journey of hope “from one home of football a powerful symbol of the kind of humanitarian hospitality all fans can be proud of”.

Refugees Are Our Football Family fundraising T-shirts are available here.

Send clean, good condition club scarves before Friday, October 9 to Philosophy Football, PO Box 11140, Harwich, England, CO12 9AP. Please include your name, address and email in legible writing.

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