Seasiders Give Back To Local Community
St Peters Church in South Shore has received some very welcome surprises over the last couple of months, with donations of cash, kit and toys coming from Blackpool's playing staff.
In December, the squad attended a Christmas carol service, where money was pledged towards aiding the various local causes the church supports.
"At the carol service we talked with the players about how the area where the football ground is one of the most deprived areas in the UK," explains Club Chaplain Reverend Michael Ward.
"I said to the players that at the end of the service there would be a plate at the back of the church and anything that is donated would help improve the work the church is doing in the community. At the end of the service, £350 was left in the plate."
A month later, Spanish midfielder Angel Martinez decided to go one further, filling his car with gifts and passing them on to the Reverend.
"I had a lot of clothes, trainers and toys that I don’t use and I prefer that somebody enjoys to use them," said Angel. "There are a lot of people with problems who need things like this so I did it to make people happy. I think you can find happiness in helping the people who need it."
Rev. Ward added, "Angel came up to me and said 'What you talked about at the carol service, I’ve got some toys and some training kit that I no longer want. Can I give them to you?'
"Then the next week, he came with a car full of stuff! Lots of toys and a massive bag full of training gear which I have taken down to the local church. The mother and toddler group, which is run at the church, is always looking for new toys because it doesn’t run at a profit. For them, the more toys they have the better it is for the kids.
“The training gear I have given to the Boathouse Youth organisation who provide activities for three to four hundred kids in Blackpool and so that will certainly be useful for them to use. Everybody is over the moon about it.
"We’ve run carol services in the past, but we haven’t had anything like this, so all credit to the players for taking on board and understanding what sort of area people are living in.”