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Former Rangers and Hamilton star Marvin Andrews is backing a campaign to donate football strips to a project in Malawi.

South Lanarkshire college students have been collecting shirts and construction tools and donating them to the Raven Trust who will be taking them to the African country in the new year.

The unusual mix of equipment is to help the Christian charity build and repair facilities and property in the region - but also give people in Malawi play sports too.

In some cases, the lack of sporting equipment is so bad that children are using blown-up plastic bags as footballs.

Marvin Andrews said it was important to give youngsters in the poverty-stricken country the equipment they need to play the game, especially as he’s experienced both sides of the footballing coin.

He said: “We’re giving these youths opportunity, you never know you might see one of them in Scottish or English football because somebody gave them the opportunity to start.

“Many people and children in Britain don’t know what poverty is. Yes, there’s poverty everywhere, but people don’t know what it’s like to not eat for a week or not have clothes to wear or have shoes on your feet.

“I know what it’s like playing football bear foot not having trainers, I did that in Trinidad and Tobago before I came and people saw me and someone gave me a chance.

“These things give people awareness. What the college is doing is showing it’s not just about people here, but giving people in Malawi the opportunity to make something of their life.

“This is always a great honour to be part of stuff like this. Life is not just about receiving, but giving. This is the greatest thing that any human being can do - the opportunity to have something in life and become something in life.”

The football strips and tools will be taken over to Malawi by the Raven Trust, which is based in Strachur, near Dunoon.

It is run by volunteers who help provide practical skills and essential supplies to Malawi.

John Challis will be man taking the boxes over to the country next year. His local church had a link with the community and had a problem with shipping, which happened to be John’s profession.

He then managed to get a few parcels out to Malawi and it has grown ever since.

John said: “Malawi has tremendous links with this area. I get involved with all the practical projects like building and painting.

“Many of the young people out there haven’t got luxuries, but they’re keen on playing football. Anywhere you go in the country there’ll be a football field, even in the most remote areas.

“They don’t have footballs, they use plastic bags and blown up condoms. To provide them with strips and footballs they’ll be very grateful. The tools are also tremendous.

“We’ve sent about 84 containers over the last 12 years and they’re very much appreciated, going to the remote centres and hospitals.

“It’s hopefully the start of a long partnership with this college.”

Des Brown, a construction lecturer at the college, organised the programme from the college’s side of things.

He said: “The Raven Trust take anything from football strips to cuddly toys, dental equipment and anything that people in Malawi need.

“We started the project last year, asking students to bring unwanted football strips, balls and boots along with that the construction department have donated a lot of tools as well like trowels and other stuff that will come in use with rebuilding projects as well.

“The college has done things for Malawi in the past but this is the first we’ve donated anything. We’ve always talked about doing it.

“It also helps some student’s NPA (National Progression Award) which is like a Standard Grade.

"They can come here with no qualifications at all and come out with an NPA in construction which will give them life skills and skills they didn’t realise they had.”