Published on May 9th, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman0
National Football Museum: A visit from 2 special MCFC fans
On Monday 12th May, two City fans, Armani Kamara and Tony Griffiths, who live on opposite sides of the world to each other, will be visiting the National Football Museum to tell a great story of how, when and why they met!
Here’s their story:
In 2003, Armani Kamara was selling sunglasses and watches on a beach when he got talking to City fan Tony Griffiths from Reddish. Tony was there training the Sierra Leone police. Armani was wearing a Man Utd badge, and Tony said he’d only buy a watch off Armani if he got rid of the badge and became a Manchester City fan. Armani threw the badge into the sea and said he’d be a City fan for the rest of his life. Tony bought a watch off him, and despite the fact the arms fell off the watch, they stayed in touch.
Armani set up a Manchester City Supporters Club, but also a football team called Sierra Leone MCFC. Man City fans sent over shirts and old kit for them to play in and donated money to help the team.
However, the team struggled to get to away matches, so in 2010 City supporters started collecting money for a minibus. Manchester City itself stepped in and assisted (although they asked that their involvement is kept fairly quiet, as they don’t want the work of the fans to be undermined) to make sure the bus was purchased. It was sent out in a container full of training kit, laptops, books and bikes. Here’s a video of the bus being packed, ironically on the container yard where MCFC used to play and where they were formed in 1894:
When the bus isn’t being used by Sierra Leone MCFC football team, it’s hired out. The UN used it for humanitarian work, and the South African national team have used it. The money made from hiring out the bus is given to the team, who are now paid, can feed their families and more importantly pay for education for them and their children. The football team itself is in Divison One in the Sierra Leone league.
In all, it’s a great story of how football brought two people together, a friendship developed, and thanks to the donation of a bus, it’s changing peoples lives.
Be sure to come along to the Museum this Monday – it’s free!