Pals team up to help kids play football

HOPEFUL ... Chris Maley wants sponsorship for his football teams.
HOPEFUL ... Chris Maley wants sponsorship for his football teams.

SPORT-loving neighbours have given up their free time to keep kids off the streets in East Shields.

Chris Maley and Paul O’Neill came up with the idea to start a football team for youngsters about eight months ago.

Since then, the pair, from Sycamore Avenue, Cleadon Park, have been inundated with youngsters who want to train twice a week.

Mr Maley is hoping a company or individual will help sponsor the lads, so they can play in proper leagues.

The 27-year-old said: “Paul has two boys himself, so we thought it would be good if there was somewhere where they could play nearby.

“At first, a few kids came from South Shields Community School, but then a load came from Harton, so we’ve got enough to make up some proper teams, but we’re happy to welcome along a few more players.”

Asda worker Mr Maley trains the under-15s on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Cleadon Recreational Park, off Quarry Lane.

Mr O’Neill coaches the under-nines on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Mr Maley said: “We think it’s a good way to keep the kids from wandering around the streets, perhaps stopping them from getting into danger or trouble.

“It gives them something to do.

“We’re hoping we can find a sponsor so we can get proper kits and then play in a league.”

For more information on the teams, or to sponsor the players, call Mr Maley on 0772 548 6843.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez