Charlton Athletic fans from across the globe have come together to raise funds to ensure vulnerable children have a Christmas to remember.
Australian supporter Lee Fender set-up a Christmas fundraising campaign to buy Charlton shirts for local children with the initiative quickly catching the imagination of the club’s global fanbase.
A total of £6,776.11 was initially raised by supporters, the equivalent of 155 shirts, with new Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard promising to match the amount.
It means a total of 310 shirts will now be gifted to some of the most vulnerable local children with the club working alongside Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) to help to distribute the Christmas gifts.
Fender, who never misses watching a Charlton game despite the Australian time difference, said: “In my time in the navy, I’ve seen a lot of poverty around and I don’t believe kids should have to suffer with that.
“This is my way of supporting Charlton financially and doing a bit of good with it too. It’s humbling.”
Sandgaard added: “One of the big reasons I was interested in Charlton was the incredibly passionate fanbase that is dedicated to supporting not just the club but the community as well.
“When I found out about this campaign on social media, I had to get involved. Christmas is a difficult time for many and may be even more difficult this year because of the pandemic.
“Hopefully, thanks to the generosity of Charlton fans in supporting the CAFC Kits for Kids campaign, we can give some local children a bit of Christmas cheer.”
The first batch of shirts was distributed at the weekend and Sandgaard hopes to return to the UK in December to work with CACT to hand-deliver some of the shirts – should government regulations allow.
While fundraising for the campaign has now closed, supporters can still support the Charlton Athletic Community Trust by visiting their website and clicking donate.