Efforts to support a charity which helps disadvantaged African children have received a boost thanks to Perthshire football fans.
Peza Trust Scotland has been raising money for the community in Matsetso near Chimanimani – a village in Manicaland, Zimbabwe – for six years.
And Blairgowrie ’s Alistair Gibb, one of the trustees, came up with an innovative way to raise £500 for the cause which is close to his heart.
The lifelong football fan and retired local businessman has many connections in the football world and managed to get a donation of a signed Borussia Dortmund strip from rising international star Erling Haaland.
Frances Fleming is one of the founders of Peza Trust Scotland, which she runs in conjunction with her cousin Jane High – who is based in Zimbabwe – and helps raise money to provide food, school fees, school uniforms, sports and educational equipment for children in the village. The trust also supports Matsetso’s aspiring football team and golfers by sending over equipment such as second-hand team strips, boots and balls.
However, all the trust’s usual fundraising activities have had to be put on hold for much of the last year due to restrictions imposed as part of efforts to tackle the global coronavirus pandemic.
Alyth-based Frances said: “When Alistair got the shirt for us, we decided to hold a ‘lucky squares’ competition for folk to have a chance at winning it.
“So we sold 100 squares at £5 per square, raising a fantastic £500.”
Rattray’s Stewart Morrison is a long-standing supporter of the trust and a huge football fan.
He said: “The work Peza Trust Scotland does in Matsetso is brilliant and Erling Haaland is hot property at the moment, with lots of big clubs interested in signing him.
“There was a lot of interest in the signed strip and between myself, Dee Jay Tolmie and Frances, the squares sold out in just 24 hours.
“We also got a £20 donation from the Balmoral United squad which we are very grateful for.”
The lucky winner of the strip was revealed by Stewart and Frances on Thursday afternoon last week.
Frances said: “One of our trustees picked a number and wrote it in a sealed envelope before any of the squares had been sold and no one else knew what the number was.
“Congratulations to Brian Webster who purchased lucky winning square number 87.
“On behalf of the trust we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who bought squares or made a donation, Alistair for getting the shirt, Stewart and Dee Jay for selling the squares and, of course, Erling Haaland for donating the shirt and supporting Peza Trust Scotland.”