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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 19:12 GMT
Kids' football plea exceeds goal
Bosnia charity
Top Christmas gifts from the Tartan Army
Football fans have handed over more than 800 strips and other kit to children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Gifts were collected by the Tartan Army and other supporters after a Christmas plea by the Bubamara football school in Sarajevo.

The appeal raised more than three times the expected amount and had to be closed two weeks early.

Items came from SPL clubs - including the Old Firm - but also from an under-14s side in Shetland.

Special needs children from the Witcutt Centre, paid for by the Edinburgh Direct charity, were given full strips.

The complex opened in Sarajevo in 2001 in memory of Christine Witcutt, an aid worker from Wishaw, who died in 1993 during the civil war.

Scottish fans are the best
Kemal Karic
Explosion victim, 12

The Bubamara academy was set up for 600 youngsters aged from five to 18 in 1993 during the Bosnian war.

Its founder was former Yugoslav International Predrag Pasig, who said at a ceremony in Sarajevo: "We are honoured to welcome Scottish football fans - the best football fans in the world - who collected football strips for you.

"The football game cannot exist without football fans. Fans enjoy the game the same as the players in the field. They both share the same joy and passion of the game."

Kemal Karic, 12, was just three months old when he lost a leg in a mortar explosion which killed his mother.

Bosnia charity
Smiling children try on the kit

"Scottish fans are the best," he said.

One of the appeal organisers, Lorraine Tough, added: "When I see all these happy kids, I am really glad that I participated in making this happen. The effort was well worth it."

Mirza Muminovic, founder of Sarajevo Tartan Army, said: "It is great to see so many happy kids. Once again, Scottish football fans proved to be the best in the world.

"As I said many times before, the Tartan Army are the best ambassadors for Scotland."


SEE ALSO:
Charity centre's financial fears
28 Sep 04 |  Scotland
Centre marks aid worker's memory
15 Sep 01 |  Scotland


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