Reffley Reds under 14s, last year’s Mid Norfolk League Division One winners, League Cup winners and the first team ever to take the Stuart Dracup Cup (Norfolk County Cup), will play the rest of this season in smart new kit sponsored by minerals firm Sibelco.
The Lynn based U14s team had such a successful 2014/15 – unbeaten throughout – that they decided to jump straight to the U16s contest in hope of a greater sporting challenge.
But away from the pitch, last year wasn’t quite so rosy for the Reds.
Despite being keen community fundraisers themselves, their own appeal for help with a new strip fell repeatedly on deaf ears.
Five requests for commercial sponsorship were turned down and only when Sibelco, which operates a sand extraction site near Lynn was approached, did the much-needed £300 follow.
“We’re very grateful to Sibelco for helping out,” said Reffley Youth FC coach Kevin Wingfield, who has been with the lads right from the very start.
“The situation was getting so bad that players were having to borrow kits from older club members to play in the county cup final, as they’d outgrown their own.
“Now they look as good as they play.”
They are currently fourth in the U16s league.
Sibelco team leader Allan Dungey presented the new kit to Wingfield, whose son Charlie plays for the Reds, and helped secure the donation with the help of his manager Simon Mace by approaching senior management.
“It’s great the company was able to help out as only six months earlier or so they had already dipped into their pockets for the club,” Wingfield added. “Five other firms were asked first but none said they could do it.
“But now it’s onwards and upwards for the Reds - and a big thank you to Shaun at ALS Signs for printing for the kit.”