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Kits2Kids and Menzie meets the Queen


Menzie Yere brought joy everywhere he went, although opposition players may disagree. 

He also has a great heart and the picture of him meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace has a brilliant story behind it.

Eagles Chairman Chris Noble MBE explains how this meeting came about, which include Menzie helping the kids of Papua New Guinea with spare rugby kit donated from all over the UK.

The idea came after taking Menzie Yere to Manchester Airport and having to find several hundred pounds to get his luggage on the plane as it was filled with shirts for children in his village.

I discussed the idea with Keith Thompson, a life-long Eagles supporter and Simon Proctor, who was Eagles General Manager at the time.

Simon came up with the name of Kits2Kids and the three set to collecting kits and any type of sports tops, shorts, socks, boots and other sporting equipment.

Simon stayed in the background carrying out all the paperwork and Keith and I travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles collecting mainly used rugby league kits from predominantly amateur clubs who renewed their kits annually. 

St Helens RLFC and Sheffield Eagles RLFC were also extremely generous with their donations.

During the year enough kit and equipment was amassed to fill three 40-foot containers and one 20-foot container. 

The first container was a bit of a failure as we were informed that a great deal of the contents found their way to the street markets.

I contacted Mrs Jean Kuboto, the PNG High Commissioner in London. The problem was explained to her and she solved it by introducing me to the PNG Round Table at Moresby, who distributed the contents of the rest of the containers to the schools and churches.

The charity was such a success that Menzie Yere was invited to a PNG reception at Buckingham Palace where he was presented to HRH Queen Elizabeth 2nd.

The charity had to cease as to send each container to PNG cost just over £3000 and Simon, Keith and I were funding the shipping ourselves.