MORTON players are backing an innovative scheme ensuring disadvantaged Inverclyde youngsters can play football.

The Ton community trust has relaunched its successful kit and boot recycling facility, allowing people to clear out old strips and equipment while helping others.

Donations are now being accepted at Cappielow before being re-distributed to youngsters across the district.

The initiative is aimed at breaking down barriers to participation in football and preventing perfectly-good items from going to waste.

Morton players Jamie McGowan, Mark Russell, Scott Tiffoney and Jack Iredale lent their support to the scheme, along with team-mate Lewis Strapp, who kindly donated some of his own training gear.

Lewis said: “It’s a brilliant idea.

“This is stuff that doesn’t fit any more and was just sitting in a drawer.

“I keep one or two things as mementoes, but stuff like this could be useful for someone else, maybe people who are less fortunate.

“Money is tight and people sometimes don’t have the funds to buy football gear.”

More than 400 items have been handed in so far — but community trust staff are looking for more donations.

Brian McLaughlin, development manager, said: “Every parent will have stuff lying about their house, especially at Christmas when they’re trying to get rid of things.

“If people don’t hand it in they’ll just bin it, so for us the project stops perfectly good kit and equipment going to landfill and prevents barriers to participation in football, which is ultimately why we do it.

“The generosity has been amazing so far and lots of people have given us stuff which is brand new.”

Community coach Gemma Stewart has witnessed first-hand the impact the scheme — which originally started in 2015 — has had on the area’s young people.

She said: “We’ve been to Gibshill Children’s Centre already and it was a massive success.

“One child got a Cristiano Ronaldo strip and he was delighted.

“The fact that parents can potentially give their kids a kit or a pair of boots for Christmas is amazing.”

The kit and recycling facility will be handing out items during visits to Gibshill CC on December 6 from 4-7pm, Craigend Resource Centre on December 13 between 11.30am and 1pm and then Branchton Community later that day from 4.30-6pm.

Donations can be handed into the community trust team at Cappielow.