Nearly 100 clubs in the EFL, non-league and Welsh leagues plan to support homeless charity Shelter’s #NoHomeKit campaign on Boxing Day, which will see sides ditch their usual home shirts and opt for away or third strips to support everyone without a home.
EFL clubs including Portsmouth, Salford City, Sheffield United, Cardiff and Forest Green have all signed up, while Jeff Stelling, Chris Kamara and brands like Puma and Mitre will also be supporting the campaign.
The Premier League has refused to allow clubs to ditch home shirts on Boxing Day, but Tottenham, Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion, Brentford and Watford will still all support the initiative without changing their kits.
As many as 20 clubs in the EFL are already confirmed to participate, with dozens of clubs in the National League and below in England, and Cymru Premier also taking part. Even rugby league club Bradford Bulls will be joining the cause that day.
“I’ve been homeless, I know what it’s like and so when Shelter asked if we’d support this brilliant campaign – you knew that we would,” Dale Vince, Forest Green chairman, said.
“Britain is one of the richest nations in the world, but tens of thousands of our people have nowhere to live – that’s wrong. Changing the shirts we play in for one game is nothing, shame on the Premier League for preventing the top clubs from joining in.”
Chris Kamara said, “I got involved in this campaign after hearing some of the harrowing statistics concerning homelessness in this country – such as there being over 400 households made homeless every day. Something needs to change and I’m hoping this campaign can be the start of that.”
Osama Bhutta, Director of Campaigns at Shelter, said, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from across the football community for our #NoHomeKit campaign, and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who gets stuck in to fight homelessness with us this Christmas.
“In the space of a single 90-minute football match, 25 households will become homeless – many of them will be families with children. That’s why the work of our frontline advisers is so critical.
“Our emergency helpline is open 365 days a year, including on Christmas Day, so that no-one has to face homelessness alone. By ditching their home colours this Boxing Day, fans and players alike will be helping us to find safe and secure homes for people whose lives are on the line.”
As well as wearing their away shirts on Boxing Day, fans can directly support Shelter’s frontline services donating £5 to the campaign by texting ’HOME’ to 70455, or by visiting www.shelter.org.uk/nohomekit. (Texts cost your standard network rate + £5, and Shelter receives 100% of your donation).
Online donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaign/NoHomeKit