A SPONSOR has stepped forward to help a youth football team left without kits after an arson attack.

Hardwick Youth FC’s Under-8s - based at Bishopsgarth School in Stockton - were forced to play in kits meant for players much older than them following the arson attack last year.

A £400 donation from Tristar Homes to go towards branded strips and training gear means the youngsters  are now kitted out properly.

Their manager, Paul Just, said: “After the fire, the team had to play in the Under 15s’ kits, which were far too big and swamped the players.

“The new kit looks very smart, and we look like a real force out there on the pitch with it on. We are very thankful to Tristar for the support they’ve given us.  Hopefully we can repay them by doing well this season.”

Tristar Homes’ Kay Glew said: “Sports clubs, such as Hardwick Under 8s, are an important part of the community as they provide training, team-building experience and entertainment for local youngsters.

“We wish all the players and staff at Hardwick Youth Under 8s the very best for the future and hope their new kit brings them good luck."