Paying tribute to its historical connections to football, Lyle & Scott has launched ‘Kits for Clubs’, supplying free, bespoke football kits to amateur teams and small clubs across the world in an attempt to breakdown some of the barriers that stand in the way of access to the sport, supporting the funding and infrastructure that grassroots football desperately needs.

The gap between the grassroots game and the elite level has arguably never been greater, with a £200m transfer in sight, likely to occur whilst the world is in the middle of a global financial crisis. The spiralling costs of football at amateur level are making it increasingly less accessible, and it’s something that Lyle & Scott is only too aware of. That’s why the brand is launching ‘Kits for Clubs’, supplying free, bespoke football kits to amateur teams and small clubs across the world. Beginning with a seven-figure investment from the brand in the first year, the campaign will grow to offer new kits to tens of thousands of dedicated grassroots football players all over the world.

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Any club, whether 5, 7 or 11-a-side, freestylers, pub teams or mid-week footballers, is invited to apply for complimentary football kits and remove a significant expense for the season ahead. An expert panel will then review all applications individually before deciding which teams will receive the free Lyle & Scott football kits.Designed in-house and developed through the brand’s long-established production processes, the kits pay homage to the brand’s 150 years of heritage, combining Lyle & Scott’s expertise in fashion, football and products developed for performance. Teams will be able to choose their favourite kit from a range of shirts designed to look and feel great.

The range includes an Argyle pattern, or a thistle inspired design for those wanting something striking, or more classic designs for the football purists. The Lyle & Scott team colours of black, gold, and white compliment the elevated designs, aiming to capitalise on the close relationship between premium fashion and football that has gone from strength to strength over the last two decades. Relationships with the chosen clubs will be nurtured and their feedback on the products will be used to develop the range of products further in the coming seasons.

The kits will all be hand-finished in Scotland, in the brand’s hometown of Hawick, with customisation for individual player numbers and club crests. For any newly formed teams, if they do not have a club crest, Lyle & Scott will go the extra mile and collaborate with the club to design that as well, to help develop their own proud identity.

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Commenting on the launch of Kits for Clubs, Ben Gunn, Lyle & Scott, Brand & Marketing Director said: “I am so proud of this initiative, and I know first-hand how tough funding and support at grassroots is. Football is a common language the world shares and is an important part of Lyle & Scott’s 149 years of history. From the terraces to the pitch, Lyle & Scott’s Golden Eagle is recognised the world over.

Our new ‘Kits for Clubs’ initiative will take some of the financial barriers away from grassroots football by offering to supply free football kits to amateur teams globally. Football shirts are a powerful thing and being fortunate enough to play and enjoy watching football throughout my life I associate important life lessons and memories with different football kits.

Not only that, but a team also wearing a full, matching kit feels great and creates a tribal sense of identity. It gives confidence, regardless of level, and instils a feeling of pride that we at Lyle & Scott know is so important when playing the most popular game in the world. Football creates cultures and friendships; it gives kids a home and something to do after school. We are starting at the bottom with grassroots and building to the top, realising that the time for change is now.

There are so many grassroots football teams that are close to collapse due to lack of funding, we feel it is extremely important to support change through football and want to help alleviate some of the stress that new kit can provide to parents and families. Sport should not be a choice; it should be a right and we want to lead fundamental change to make football available to anyone, anywhere.

Within football, the rich get richer and to be truly inclusive means being democratic. We value inclusivity and diversity. As an underdog ourselves, we will champion those that need a voice and support, not just the privileged few, for who it is just another commercial lever.

Football holds so many benefits culturally and socially. We are committed to being leaders of change rather than waiting for government regulation or league restructures to give back to the wider football community, the campaign aims to prioritise the people who need supporting the most.

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Applications for kits can be made via the brand’s dedicated page