August 16th, 2010
Fans tribute jerseys donated to school children
The George Best Foundation was contacted by Debi Topping, who was going to Sierra Leone to spend some time with her uncle Billy.
Billy, an avid football fan, was working for the United Nations and had initially gone for a six month contract.
He fell in love with Sierra Leone and in particular its people and six months drifted into almost six years.
Sierra Leone is a country which has been torn apart by years of civil war, and many of its people have been left without food, clothing and shelter. The children in particular have very little in their lives and with this in mind Debi packed as many of the football jerseys as humanly possible into her luggage.
Once again, the jerseys which had been left by the fans following George’s death would not be wasted.Once she arrived in Sierra Leone, Debi couldn’t wait to go to Cardiff preparatory School in Freetown where she was warmly welcomed by the staff and many excited children.
Sadly, the school has hundreds of pupils making it impossible to give each child a jersey. The teachers decided that the BEST solution was to keep the jerseys in the school and then use them on sports days and of course football days. At least this way, more children would have a chance to wear one, albeit for a very short time.
Debi said that it was day which she will never forget and the smiles on the children’s faces were just fantastic. Once again George Best was being remembered thousands of miles away for his football.