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Norwich footballers given Hucks' backing

PUBLISHED: 09:35 18 March 2011

Darren Huckerby visiting Norwich International Youth Project in Upper Goat Lane, Norwich for part of Red Nose Day Community Cash. Pictured with, left, Karim Rezai and Ali Rezai at the centre.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Darren Huckerby visiting Norwich International Youth Project in Upper Goat Lane, Norwich for part of Red Nose Day Community Cash. Pictured with, left, Karim Rezai and Ali Rezai at the centre. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

City star Darren Huckerby was welcomed by asylum seekers and refugees in Norwich yesterday who have set up a football team thanks to Comic Relief Community Cash.

The former Norwich forward was greeted by half a dozen young men at the Norwich International Youth Project, which received a grant of £1,000 to buy the team refreshments and equipment during last year’s scheme.

Now the players, who come from seven countries across the globe, are hoping to secure a coach and a permanent place to play football if they receive a grant from this year’s Evening News and Red Nose Day Community Cash campaign.

Karim Rezai, 22, who has been living in Norwich since he left Afghanistan in June 2010, said: “Every one of us wants to improve skills, but we don’t have the facilities to do it. We want someone to train us and a proper pitch to play on because at the moment we are using our jackets for goal posts.”

Trustees of the Norwich International Youth Project, on Upper Goat Lane, create an environment where refugees and asylum seekers can socialise. As well as the football team, the project provides cultural lessons and the chance to learn English.

Community Cash hero Darren said: “There are not many other places like the Norwich International Youth Project, where these 11 young players can come and try to get better together – and part of this is down to the Comic Relief Community Cash campaign.”

Small organisations had the chance to apply for a wedge of £50,000 as part of this year’s Evening News and Red Nose Day Community Cash Campaign.

Did you do something funny for money for Red Nose Day? email your stories and pictures to reporter Ben Woods at ben.woods@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772439.

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