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Free Kicks for kids

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Sitting around watching the World Cup one evening during the summer of 2006, close friends Steve Thorpe and Leigh Porter, who is Peterborough United’s Commercial Manager, resolved to try and combine their mutual passions of football and fundraising, and came up with the concept of founding a very special children’s charity.

“The World Cup was our inspiration – we were watching all the games and thinking about the kids all over the world who’d be watching them too, and we came up with the idea of setting up the Free Kicks is to provide football-related activities for ill, bereaved or disadvantaged children, to give them a day out they’d never forget at their favourite football club”, said Steve Thorpe.

“These days out, which we call “Kicks”, might involve being a team mascot for a match, meeting their favourite player, enjoying a tour of their chosen stadium, receiving a special gift or anything football related we can organise to make sure there is one they’ll never forget.”

The Free Kicks fellows’ first step was to set up a Myspace page to try and spread the word of Free Kicks to those who might possibly be able to help in some way – footballers, sportsmen, bands, venues, record labels in the music business and football fans across the country… in the space of just one month 1000 “friends” had been made, ready to be called upon for help in the future. The team was then strengthened the team further as two more Trustees, Sam Downing and Damon Williams were appointed, after making an invaluable contributions over the first few months of the initiative.

“Back in July we received a £2000 grant from the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme, having been nominated by Derby County – we’ve received some fantastic donations and the fundraising continues a-pace and, after months of battling red-tape and form-filling, the Free Kicks Foundation has been granted official charity status by the Charities Commission. We’ve established links with both Peterborough District Hospital and Addenbrookes Hospital so far – our sources there nominate children they think deserve a day out as a respite from their respective illnesses. Also, we want to encourage parents or relatives to contact us if they wish to nominate a child for a “Kicks” day.”

Steve Thorpe,
5 Gorse Green,
Tel: 01733 753040
Mob: 07845 651343
MySpace address:

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe