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Cheltenham Saracens have 30 Stoke City football kits to give away

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 5th November 2021, 09:00

Ricky Santos, left, and Antoine Thompson, right, with Cheltenham Saracens chairman Graham Roberts and one of the donated Stoke City shirts Ricky Santos, left, and Antoine Thompson, right, with Cheltenham Saracens chairman Graham Roberts and one of the donated Stoke City shirts

Manchester United and Chelsea had better watch out, there could be another football club gaining popularity in and around parts of Cheltenham.

That’s because Cheltenham Saracens Football Club, who play their home matches at Petersfield Park just off St Peter’s Close, having been given around 30 Stoke City football kits to distribute in the area.

They have been donated to the club by Ricky Santos, who readers of The Local Answer online will know has a home in Antigua and is committed to giving youngsters from the Caribbean the opportunity to play football in the UK.

He also has a home in Gloucestershire and is the founder of Generation Next, the team who have made such an impressive start to life in Division Two of the Cheltenham League.

“We’re very grateful to Ricky,” said Cheltenham Saracens chairman Graham Roberts, “it’s a very kind donation. There are goalkeeping kits as well.”

And you don’t have to be a Stoke City fan to receive one of the kits.

“We’re planning to put on a free, open session at the club for all youngsters in the area in mid-November, weather permitting,” said Roberts, who has been chairman of Saracens for the past five years or so. “It’s not just for players who are signed on at the club, it’s for anyone.”

Santos is well-connected in football – he is also the Ambassador for Sports and Sports Tourism in Antigua and Barbuda – and has links with Stoke City.

“We wish to express our thanks to Stoke City Community Trust for their kind donation to our Generation Next Community Outreach Programme,” Santos told The Local Answer.

A number of players from the Caribbean are already playing for Generation Next and Cheltenham Saracens are also willing to place players.

“We’ve been in contact with Antoine Thompson,” said Roberts. “We’ve got two teams in the Hellenic League, one in Division One and a Development team in Division Two so it is a good standard.”

At the time of writing, the first team are leading the way in Division One, while Antoine Thompson, who is director of football at Generation Next is also head of the academy at League One club Cheltenham Town.

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