CELTIC sponsors and kit suppliers, New Balance, have donated a significant number of club tops to Celtic FC Foundation for distribution to charities and areas of poverty outwith the UK and Ireland.
The club’s charitable arm is working with worthy causes they have previously helped and new partners to distribute the New Balance Celtic kit, but two Hoops stars have volunteered to help them deliver around the globe.
Richard Wright, General Manager of New Balance Football said: “New Balance is a very proud partner of Celtic and delighted to be working with Celtic FC Foundation. Since it began, New Balance has worked to give back to the communities in which we operate and this donation aims to continue this legacy.
“Celtic has an incredible fanbase all over the globe and we hope that this donation of kits makes a positive difference to the charities involved and all those people who are benefitting.”
Celtic stars Emilio Izaguirre and Efe Ambrose between them have taken back an amazing 2,500 shirts to their home countries, so kids and young adults in Honduras and Nigeria will soon be playing in New Balance Celtic tops.
Emilio said: “It’s a great gesture from New Balance. I’ve been here for nearly six years now and every time I go back to Honduras on international duty, I always take back what I can but this is fantastic and I’m very happy to take these Celtic strips back for the people of Honduras.
“The kids will be so happy with this as it will bring smiles to their faces. There are eight million people in Honduras and they all love their football so they know I’m in Scotland with one of the world’s biggest clubs, and the young people will be very happy with these presents.”
He added: “It’s important to see people happy and, for me, I try to help the people. This is good as it could be an opportunity to help a youngster move on to a football career.
“The Celtic strip is famous and everyone will want one. I remember when I signed I got Celtic strips for my family, but now I’m not giving to my family, but to a whole lot more people.”
This great gesture by New Balance will mean a lot to kids and aspiring footballers, not only in Honduras and Nigeria, but in many other areas of need around the globe.
Efe Ambrose added: “For me, this is amazing. I never thought this sort of thing would come my way, or the way of Africa.
“Celtic is a club with charity at its heart and they’ve been doing this sort of thing for a lot of years for the less privileged. It will be an honour for a part of Nigeria to have these lovely strips that New Balance is giving out for charity.”
The Celtic Family is spreading and the donation of these tops could inspire youngsters to take up the game and possibly produce new players, not only for Nigeria and Honduras, but other countries around the world and, who knows, maybe even produce a future Celtic player down the line.
Efe added: “For me, this gesture is one of a kind as I never expected this. This is a surprise for me and it’s going to be an even bigger surprise for the kids back in Africa when they see the Celtic tops.
“Nigerians, as a whole, love football. It’s a way of uniting the country, it preaches peace as whenever there is conflict in anything, you can use football to get people together.
“Back home this will really encourage the young ones to step up and to really know that football is not just about playing on the pitch – it’s about giving, caring and sharing, although I still have my first Celtic strip, I kept it for myself and I cherish it!”
Tony Hamilton, CEO of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “I’m very grateful to New Balance for this hugely-generous donation as many people across the world will benefit greatly from it. We are very lucky to have such a caring partner.”