BY CALUM FRASER
A South-east London footballer has started a charity to give children in Africa a chance to play the beautiful game.
AFC Wimbledon footballer Kwesi Appiah says that football transformed his life since the days he was a teenager living in Thamesmead and playing for Woolwich polytechnic.
Now, at the age of 27, having played for Crystal Palace and Wimbledon, he has decided to give back to the game which has been so generous to him.
He said: “I can’t save world , but I can do my bit in the world that I know, football.”
The Ghanaian international has set up a charity called From Us To Africa.
The charity’s aim is to send football kit and equipment to other continents.
Mr Appiah said: “Ultimately all you need to play football is a ball but you also need basic equipment if you are going to play at a decent level.
“Africa is a huge pool of football talent that is mostly untapped due to the lack of basic requirements.”
The official launch of his charity will take place on Sunday, July 1 at the Wimbledon Centre Court shopping centre.
All donations, financial and football equipment, are welcome and Appiah will be on hand to speak about the project and accept the contributions.
There will also be a raffle at the event. With every 10 items donated by members of the public, they will get a raffle ticket with different prizes on offer.
He said: “I have always been involved in charity and community work in the clubs I have played for over the past 10 years.
“But this is special.
“I am putting not just my name behind it but also a lot of my time.”
The idea came to him while he was on tour with the Ghanaian national football team and he saw the conditions that many children were playing football in.
The Wimbledon number 9 has been in and out of professional football during his career.
He was picked up by Ebbsfleet United and got a break to Peterborough United when he was 18.
But he didn’t quite kick on and after moving to various clubs, he then scored 22 goals in 24 appearances for Margate.
This gave him a contract with Crystal Palace in 2012. He then moved to Wimbledon at the start of the 2017-18 season.
He’s picked up six caps for Ghana, scoring once.
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