TWO Bolton businessmen have teamed up to collect more than 500 football shirts that will be sent to some of the poorest youngsters in Brazil — venue of this summer’s World Cup.

Alan Jones — dad of talented singers Danny, from McBusted, and Vicky, who starred in The Voice on BBC One — has been running the scheme at his pub, The Jolly Crofters in Horwich.

He has been joined in his charitable efforts by Dean Cocozza, who runs a barber shop in Bolton town centre.

The Orchid pub group, of which the Jolly Crofters is a member, is running the scheme called Project Fair Play at its pubs and restaurants throughout the UK.

In 2010, the scheme saw 20,000 football shirts sent to South Africa townships before the World Cup held in the country.

Mr Jones, who is originally from Great Lever, will now take the collection of shirts to a general meeting of the Orchid group before they are sent on to Brazil, to young people living in poverty in Brazilian slums, known as favellas.

He said: “It has been absolutely fantastic — when we started out we had the hope of collecting about 300 so to get more than 500 is brilliant. As you can imagine we have had a fair few Wanderers shirts in the collection but have also been donated shirts from Italy and Spain.”

Mr Jones said he and his son Danny had also added to the collection.

Mr Cocozza runs the Dean Cocozza barbers in Deansgate and said his customers had been very generous in their donations.

He added: “I have had lots of people coming in to donate and my kids took the collection to Walmsley School where they attend and were given loads of shirts there.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has handed over a shirt.”

Project Fair Play will also benefit a British project as some of the shirts donated will be recycled for cash which will raise funds for the Wheelchair Football Association.

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