City of Liverpool FC players and supporters have thrown their weight behind a campaign to support Afghan refugees arriving on Merseyside through a clothing donation appeal.

The Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One West outfit have established strong links with the city’s refugee community since their foundation in 2015 and launched their latest appeal prior to a home clash with Glossop North End in August.

They have since been overwhelmed by donations and Mike Meadows, a COLFC in the Community volunteer, has been delighted to see the club help make a real difference to those who have left perilous situations behind.

“Seeing what has been going on in Afghanistan, we thought it was our duty, given our long-standing links with the migrant community in Liverpool, to do what we could to help,” he said.

“We have such a giving and kind supporter group and that extends to the players and staff, who have immersed themselves in the appeal and donated really generously.

“We have put out appeals in the past for old football kit and boots in the past and our membership have been really keen to stand up and help.

“If anything, this time it’s been multiplied because of the heartbreaking scenes we’ve seen on the news.

“We all know the adversity these refugees are facing – it’s far more than not having any clothes, it’s complete upheaval of their lives.

“If we can alleviate one small burden and help them with it, it’s something we’re really keen to do and the amazing response from everyone means it will benefit a lot more people than we initially thought.”

Meadows has become used to leaving matches with a full car of donated items in recent weeks while plenty more have arrived at the Purple Hub, the club’s community base.

The initiative has helped continue the club’s proud tradition of helping refugees settle into life in Liverpool and they will soon look to resume the football sessions which ran regularly before the pandemic.

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“The joy we get out of them is that the refugees become our friends,” Meadows said.

“We see lads come out their shell and become part of our community.

“Within our club, we have our own community with people using our services and it’s nice to see some of the refugees swap phone numbers to go and meet up with Scouse lads and socialise together.

“We know these sessions aid community cohesion and prevent social isolation.”

City of Liverpool are one of more than 200 clubs across the Trident Leagues to be supported by Pitching In, a landmark grassroots sporting investment programme established by Ladbrokes with the support of its owner Entain.

In addition to financial support, the initiative places emphasis on the importance of volunteering and community within non-league football – two topics central to City of Liverpool’s ethos.

“Football clubs are community institutions and we all have a responsibility as members to drive how we want them to act in our communities,” Meadows said.

“The motto of COLFC in the Community is ‘more than football’ and that speaks volumes in terms of our relationship with the migrant communities and working with refugees.

“We are a community owned club and it’s really important to us as a club that we are a force for good in times of hardship.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: