CHRISTMAS came early for three children in Altrincham as they were named as the winners of Altrincham FC’s design a shirt competition.

It was launched in October alongside the Club’s new Inclusion Strategy and local primary school children were invited to design a football shirt that celebrates the differences within our community. Entry forms were distributed by eight primary schools, Altrincham and Hale libraries as well as art charity, Art with a Heart whose director Karen Wroe, also a member of the judging panel encouraged children to be creative during the Autumn half-term holiday.

Sponsored by Altrincham based company Smart Storage, the competition captured the imagination of the town’s children as hundred of entries were received with a variety of themes bringing Inclusion and Diversity to a young audience.

The winners Emily Bennett (r on photo), aged 6 from Oldfield Brow Primary School, Holly Sachro (c on photo) aged 7 from Heyes Lane Primary School and Joseph Slater Snape (l on photo) aged 10 from Willows Primary School had their designs turned into Altrincham FC replica shirts by The Robins' kit supplier SK Kits. There were also six runners-up who also won season tickets for themselves and a parent.

The presentation took place on December 9 with the first team squad after the Evostik Premier Division table toppers had their match against Shaw Lane FC postponed.

Paul Whittaker, from Smart Storage, said: “Smart Storage were delighted to get involved with this fantastic initiative and support Altrincham FC and its Inclusion programme.

"I was personally honoured to be part of the judging panel as not only the number of entries but also the high quality astonished me, it was certainly no easy task choosing the winners.”

Jordan Tyms Altrincham FC Inclusion Co-ordinator “I would like to thank Smart Storage, Art with a Heart and the primary schools that helped to support this project and would like to congratulate all of the children that took part especially Emily, Holly and Joseph for their fantastic designs.”