Charity pays for Peterborough's Syrian refugees to attend Posh match

Syrian refugees living in Peterborough got to enjoy some traditional Boxing Day football thanks to the generosity of Free Kicks Foundation.

Wednesday, 28th December 2016, 12:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:44 pm
Posh striker Tom Nichols dragged this opportunity wide against Gillingham. Photo: David Lowndes.

The charity based in Peterborough paid for tickets so 12 refugees, seven of whom are children, could watch Peterborough United v. Gillingham.

One hundred refugees fleeing their country’s civil war are being housed in Peterborough over five years, with the first people moving in a few months ago.

Their costs are being met be the Government.

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Steve Thorpe, founder and trustee of Free Kicks Foundation, said: “We were delighted to help and hopefully it gave them a great day out.”

The idea for the tickets came from Peterborough city councillor Richard Ferris.

Richard said: “I just thought it would be nice if they have something to look forward to over Christmas. I raised the idea with one of their case workers and she translated it for me, and they were quite animated.

“I then got in touch with Steve Thorpe from the Free Kicks Foundation. I raised the idea and he said ‘yeah, I can do something’.

“He then got us a supply of tickets.

“On the day there were lots of smiles and they took selfies in the ground.”

Posh, who are just outside the League One play-offs, took a one-nil lead through Lee Angol before being pegged back in the 92nd minute by Gillingham defender Baily Cargill.

Richard added: “We all leapt up when Posh scored and there was lots of clapping. They looked disappointing when the equaliser went in.

“One of the little boys shouted out ‘goal’ when Posh scored.

“They all said thank you afterwards and there was genuine enthusiasm.”

Richard said they bumped into Mayor of Peterborough Cllr David Sanders after the match who said he would invite the refugees into the Town Hall at a later date.

Richard also hopes to organise more trips in the future.

Promoting African Refugee Community Association (PARCA) is coordinating the support for the refugees.