Bryan Gunn helps local school

He certainly had a lot on his plate as he contemplated leading Norwich City out of the relegation mire.But as Canaries goal-keeping legend Bryan Gunn was preparing his team to face a crunch clash against bottom of the table rivals, Barnsley, he also spared a thought for deprived children in Africa.

He certainly had a lot on his plate as he contemplated leading Norwich City out of the relegation mire.

But as Canaries goal-keeping legend Bryan Gunn was preparing his team to face a crunch clash against bottom of the table rivals, Barnsley, he also spared a thought for deprived children in Africa.

As Mr Gunn was sitting at his desk getting ready to name his first squad as temporary head coach he found time to help send 35 football shirts to a school in Kenya.

As he was deciding on the day of the game who should play up front, Mr Gunn received an e-mail asking him if he could arrange for some Canaries shirts to be donated to Mnarani Primary School.


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And despite having a lot of footballing options to mull over, Mr Gunn did not hesitate for one second to make sure the strips would be delivered the children, who come from desperately poor backgrounds.

Even though he was delighted with the 4-0 win against Barnsley on Saturday, January 17, Mr Gunn now has another reason to pat himself on the back as the Kenyan youngsters put on the Norwich City kits for the first time last week.

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Mr Gunn helped bolster the morale of the African youngsters after he was contacted by The Friends of Corpusty Primary School in Corpusty, near Aylsham, to support for their chosen charity - MnaraniAid.

He said: 'There was a lot going in my head at the time. I was still picking the team when the e-mail arrived. And it only took a few minutes to sort out.

'I am delighted whenever the club can help put a smile on children's faces and it is nice to think we now have new young supporters on another continent.'

Cathy Batchelar from the school friends group, was so impressed by Mr Gunn's generosity when he came to open a climbing frame at the school in 2006 she decided to take a gamble on asking to provide the soccer shirts.

She sent him an e-mail on the day of the Barnsley game asking if he could donate any shirts.

The end of the email said: 'I appreciate after yesterday's news that you may be preoccupied with other matters at the moment. Congratulations and all the best! If you are able to assist, we'd be most grateful.'

And because of Mr Gunn's actions, Ian Graham of the Aylsham based-MnaraniAid flew out to Kenya on February 1 to give the shirts to the school which has 1,800 pupils and class sizes of up to 90.

Ms Batchelar, a Canaries fan, said: 'It was a bit of a long shot when I e-mailed Bryan as I thought he might be too busy. But it was really great that he took time to reply and make sure something was done.

'I know the children at Mnarani are chuffed to bits with shirts and they probably won't take them off their backs for weeks.'

Mr Graham said: 'We would like to express our grateful thanks to Bryan Gunn and the staff at Norwich City and the Friends of Corpusty School.'

Between 1986 and 1997 Bryan Gunn made 477 appearances for Norwich City and after taking temporary helm of the club in the wake of Glenn Roeder's sacking he was named permanent manager of the club on January 21.

Anyone wanting to help the children in Mnarani can visit www.mnaraniaid.co.uk or write to 75 Sir Williams Close, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6AY for further information.

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