U16’s play Santa Claus

21st December 2022

To celebrate the club’s 150th season Middlesbrough’s Under 16 team set themselves the ambitious target of selling 150 miniature rugby balls so they could buy Christmas presents for 150 children. And they’ve done it!

They raised more than £4,000, and in conjunction with Teesside Family Foundation the money has all been spent on a mountain of presents.  The children who will receive the presents have been chosen by TFF and local schools. Along with their families they will visit Santa’s Grotto at Acklam Park, where they will also be served a hot meal, courtesy of Ian Collingwood, Acklam Park manager, and his son George.

Head coach of the U16s, said: “TFF have helped us out in the past and we thought that we could show our appreciation by helping them to make Christmas a bit more enjoyable for some families. We couldn’t have done it without the help of Kevin Ness of TFF, the boys and their parents and the support of our club, plus Tulway Engineering, Blackwood Fuels and Group Industrial, all of whom sponsored this event. And then at the eleventh hour Santa lost his Grotto and Leisure Time North East stepped in with a replacement. Thank you all.”

Club Chairman, Phil Tilson, said “It’s brilliant to see this group of young players honouring our 150th Anniversary by giving other youngsters a magical time at  Christmas. The lads themselves, their parents and coaches have worked their socks off and they deserve a big pat on the back for their efforts. Thank you to everyone who bought a rugby ball or who helped to wrap up the presents. Every one of you helped to put a smile on so many young faces. Merry Christmas to everyone!”

The day itself went extremely well with thanks going to Paul Manders for his portrayal of the big fella in the red suit Kaly, Sofie and Rosie organising the gifts, Brian and Tina sorting names and table service, Jake walking the bairns down, Tracy and her daughter serving food and drink and all those who have helped along the way


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