Young Wigan footballer is a step closer to making a difference in Africa

A young Latics fan put his ball skills to the test when he took on a mammoth fund-raising challenge.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 7:00 am

Fifteen-year-old Alex Williams hopes to travel to Malawi next summer with West Lancashire Scouts, where he will help to build an education centre.

But first, he must raise £500 for charity Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO) to fund the building of the centre and help with other projects, as well as £2,000 to cover the cost of his flights, accommodation and food.

To start raising money for the charity he turned to his football skills, as he challenged himself to do 8,558 keepy-uppies.

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Alex Williams

His mum Claire Williams, from Parbold, said: “He’s a massive footballer. He plays for a local club and is a Latics fan. He wanted to do something to catch people’s imagination, something that’s fun as well. He loves football so wanted to do something football-related.

“It’s 8,558 keepy-uppies because that’s how far it is in kilometres from our village to the village he is going.”

Alex, who attends St Bede’s Catholic High School in Ormskirk, spent several hours doing his keepy-uppies on Saturday, fighting tiredness to keep the football off the ground.

It proved to be a successful fund-raiser, as he has already collected hundreds of pounds for his trip.

There will be more fund-raising events in the coming months, ahead of the trip to rural Malawi in summer 2022.

Alex will be part of a group of 30 Explorer Scouts helping local workers to build a centre in the village of Mulanje which will be used as a school, community centre and for other activities.

They will spend two weeks working on the FOMO project, before having five days to explore Malawi and learn about its culture.

Claire said: “He’s really excited. He’s always wanted to visit Africa and it’s a fantastic opportunity to explore the culture and do something worthwhile.

“It’s part of the Scouting ethos to volunteer and help others, so he’s really looking forward to it.”

As well as supporting the project both practically and financially, Alex hopes his fund-raising will raise awareness of FOMO.

To donate to his appeal, go to

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