John Maxwell, chaplain to the Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, returned from another 10-day trip to The Gambia as a representative of the football charity Kit Aid, which provides football kit and equipment for teams and communities in Africa.
John and his wife Christine, who live in Westlea, have become quite a well-known figures in parts of the country. He said: “As soon as the baggage handlers see us at the airport they’re ready to help with the kit. I’ve visited The Gambia about ten times and we always get a good reception. Football plays such a big part in everyone’s lives in the country. If they don’t have a football they’ll kick a ball of string about.”
When he’s not in The Gambia,amongst his usual duties as chaplain based at Westlea Fire Station, John volunteers as a coach at Cricklade Town football club, and regularly gets involved with car wash events organised by firefighters and dresses up as Santa at Christmas to help raise money for the Firefighters’ Charity.
John is always on the look-out for donations of kit that might otherwise get thrown away.
If you have spare boots or jerseys that your children have outgrown contact John on 07830 609372.
Above, John and Christine. Top and below, John with teams he works with in The Gambia