Over 200 clubs have come together to back Shelter’s #NoHomeKit campaign in its debut year, despite Covid causing chaos for many Boxing Day fixtures. Clubs from across the English and Welsh leagues including Tranmere Rovers and Oldham Athletic, ditched their home colours and wore their away kits in front of a home crowd, in support of those without a home today.
Even though the Premier League blocked its clubs from taking part on the pitch, Tottenham Hotspur showed their support by warming up in this season’s third kit ahead of their visit from Crystal Palace. Their training kit sponsor Getir waived their usual right to be shown on the world’s TV screens, helping to raise awareness of homelessness instead.
Other Premier League clubs, Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion, Brentford and Watford have also been championing #NoHomeKit by actively asking fans to share pictures of themselves in their favourite away or third kits and donate to Shelter.
The campaign has also seen stars from the world of football and beyond – like Peter Crouch, Ben Mee, Sara Cox and Kirsty Gallagher – getting stuck in to support. Ben posted a picture of himself in his favourite Burnley away shirt, while Sara swapped her Arsenal home shirt for an away one, sharing the video with her 1.1 million followers earlier this week. And Mark Wright made a plea to fans to donate while on his holiday!
Peter Crouch, director of football at Dulwich Hamlet, was seen sporting a special Shelter edition Dulwich Hamlet away kit. Both Crouch and Dulwich Hamlet have been active supporters of the campaign, encouraging their fans to get involved ahead of, and on the big day itself. Download or watch the full interview with Peter Crouch.
Former England striker Crouch said: “Dulwich are taking part in Shelter’s #NoHomeKit because it’s a fantastic charity – no-one should be homeless at
Christmas. Dulwich is such a community focussed club, so it suits us to be involved. We all realise how lucky we are at Christmas time. I’ve got lots of friends and family around me. For the people that haven’t, it’s really sad.”
As communities up and down the divisions watched their teams and favourite football stars wearing away and third kits, Shelter’s emergency helpline, which is open 365 days a year, has been busy taking calls from people facing homelessness this Christmas.
In the space of every 90-minute game, 25 households will become homeless in England. The support of the footballing world in raising vital funds for Shelter’s frontline services has never been more critical to ensure that no-one faces homelessness alone. Shelter’s expert advisers can make the difference between someone finding a safe place to stay that night or them sleeping on the streets.
Over the next couple of days, dozens more non-league clubs will be taking to the field without a home kit in support of the campaign. And the clubs who had their fixtures postponed due to Omicron, will still get the chance to show off their away colours under the #NoHomeKit banner at a later date. Clubs like Portsmouth, Preston, Cardiff and Coventry will be ditching their home colours when their fixtures are rearranged.
Osama Bhutta, Director of Campaigns at Shelter, said: “It has been truly inspiring to see the positive power of football in action. The football community from the grassroots to the Premier League have gone above and beyond to take a stand against homelessness this Christmas – and we want to say a huge thank you to everybody who’s taken part in #NoHomeKit!
“The small act of ditching your home kit, and donating what you can to Shelter, can change the lives of those without a home. With football’s help we can keep answering helpline calls, we can give expert support to everyone who needs it, and one day we can end homelessness for good.”
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).