David James opens West Bromwich recycling hub giving free football boots to children

Former England and Aston Villa goalkeeper David James was in West Bromwich to launch a scheme so children can receive free football boots ahead of their return to school.

David James places a pair of boots into the Football Rebooted box at the local Utilita Energy Hub
David James places a pair of boots into the Football Rebooted box at the local Utilita Energy Hub

James officially opened the football boot recycling centre at the Utilita Energy Hub in West Bromwich this week. It aims to relieve the financial burden on parents as their children go back to school.

Data shows that on average, back-to-school items cost UK parents £191 per child, with PE kits proving one of the most expensive categories.

David James is a grassroots football champion and is the ambassador of Utilita’s Football Rebooted recycling campaign.

The football icon said: “The cost of football kit cannot be allowed to be a barrier to playing football. There is enough for everyone - we just need to think twice about throwing away perfectly good items.

“Football Rebooted is the game’s biggest ever environmental movement, and there are enough boots for every child who wants to play - no matter what the surface.

“Please do utilise the local hubs to ensure the movement reaches even more youngsters.”

Utilita’s Football Rebooted initiative is rehoming used boots up and down the UK – and is football’s biggest ever environmental movement.

This is facilitated by hundreds of collection boxes – including the one at the Energy Hub in Astle Park, West Bromwich.

The need for such a movement was highlighted in Utilita’s recent Price to Play Report, which found that 34 per cent of parents fear they will not be able to afford kit for the next football season.

Anyone with spare boots can deposit them in the dedicated collection point at any of the Energy Hubs, and those requiring boots, including individuals, families, clubs or schools can simply stop by and ask, or call ahead and check what sizes are available before coming to collect them.

Bill Bullen, Utilita’s founder and CEO of Utilita Energy, said: “For millions of people, playing football is their everything and we can’t let that slip away for all the obvious reasons.

“Our Energy Hubs will not settle for being in a community – they want to be a part of it. Using them as part of Football Rebooted will further extend the campaign into communities that aren’t yet being reached by collection points in schools and clubs.

“We really value every bit of support the Football Rebooted campaign has attracted so far, and we are well on our way to rehoming one million pairs - putting them on the feet and preventing them going landfill.

“Who says we will stop there?”

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News