A football coach based in Stroud will once again bring joy to thousands of children this Christmas with his national campaign.

Kitmas hopes to bring joy to many children in the UK this Christmas, by sending out football shirts to kids who otherwise may not receive presents during this time of the year.

“A football shirt can make children feel belong to a group,” says Paul Watson, who wraps and boxes all of the shirts with his wife Lizzie in Stroud.

In particular, Paul is keen to highlight the way football shirt prices have inflated in recent times and how this is ostracising fans.

“Growing up wearing a football shirt is a powerful thing.”

The campaign was founded by Paul Watson and his wife Lizzie, and features support from stand up comedians Vix Leyton and Mark Watson (Paul’s brother.)

Although Paul and his wife had previously donated kit to places like Ghana, the campaign in the UK began last year, as the Stroud based couple saw how things were going in this country, not least with Covid.  

“It’s scary to see the scale of the need.”

Christmas is a tough time of the year for many families and after offering kits to Stroud Kids Stuff, Paul said that the demand just grew and grew.

“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.”

Although they don’t get to see the end product, Paul knows that the work makes a difference to the lives of many children.

“A football shirt makes a massive difference as some children feel that they cannot play with their mates as they haven’t got one.”

In each centre across the UK, they get told which specific teams each child wants a shirt from.  

“In Stroud we have been asked for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Forest Green Rovers!”

To donate to the campaign or to find out moreyou can find the Kitmas appeal here.