Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 11:40 UK

'Quieter' footballs are given out

Youngsters playing with the sponge ball
The new balls were donated by a local businessman

Youngsters on a Kent housing estate have been given sponge footballs after residents complained about the noise made by the leather variety.

Residents in Rainham had said the standard footballs were too loud when they were kicked.

Following the complaints a businessman on the Macklands Estate bought a number of sponge footballs to allow the youngsters to keep playing.

Police, who are partners in the scheme, said the solution suited everyone.

Police Community Support Officer Sam Harrall said: "We sort of considered all the options and thought that the sponge footballs might be a good compromise because the boys can then still play football so they are quite happy.

"Also it's good for the local residents as they haven't got to worry about noise issues or damage to their property so much."

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Youngsters on the estate have mixed feelings about the new footballs



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