Multi-coloured madness over for footballers - thanks to Observer and M&S

The sea cadets in their new kit - flanked by M&S's Matt Ripley and unit APO Linda Reed
The sea cadets in their new kit - flanked by M&S's Matt Ripley and unit APO Linda Reed

The days of multi-coloured madness are over for Chichester Sea Cadets.

Their football teams used to run out in different-coloured PE kits because they didn’t have enough money to buy a team strip.

And when they had to spend cash replacing stolen canoes last year, it seemed their hopes of looking like a proper team were gone.

Then they entered the Observer’s competition to win a £750 M&S-sponsored kit plus a £250 M&S voucher ... and they won.

Our judges were touched by their tale of woe and gave them the good news that they were about to become the best turned-out team in the area.

Acting Petty Officer Linda Reed, who sent in their competition entry, said: “To use a footballing phrase, we’re over the moon.

“The kids love the kits - and they were immediately inspired by wearing them when the junior team won a district five-a-side tournament at HMS Sultan in Gosport.

“We have three teams – senior boys, senior girls and the juniors – and the kits will be getting plenty of wear. Our thanks go to the Observer and M&S.”

M&S Chichester’s commercial manager Matt Ripley visited the cadets to present a £250 gift voucher and said: “We’re delighted to support the cadets. We are sure they’ll wear the kits with pride.”

The unit will use the voucher as top prize in a raffle at the diamond jubilee fair in Priory Park in June, when they’ll be raising funds for a new £12,000 canoe store.