A BARNSLEY football team has some surprise new supporters overseas after an unusual connection led to them sending old kits to a side in Africa.

Hoyland Town Magpies, who play their home games out of Elsecar Cricket Club, have been playing in the local football leagues since 1997.

But the side has never set foot outside of Yorkshire, let alone the UK - so it was a surprise when they were asked if they had any old kits they could spare for a side who ply their trade in Zanzibar’s second division.

The link came from the parent of three boys who had all played for the team, Hamid Khamis-Burtoft, who was born in Zanzibar.

After chatting with under 16s coach Mark Pickering about an upcoming trip home to see family and friends, Hamid got onto the topic of local football in his home country.

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The conversation moved on, and Mark said he found himself clambering through bags of old kits - shirts, shorts and socks - to send over to Kiembe Samaki, who play in Zanzibar’s second division but are forced to play with whatever kit they can find, on a dusty dirt pitch.

“Hamid’s got three lads who have all played for the Magpies over the years,” said Mark, who has been with the club for around eight years.

“So I know him really well and see him once or twice a week.

“He was going over with his family to see some friends, and we got chatting about football, and he said they play with some terrible kit over there. They have got nothing really.

“We’d got some old kits in storage bags, and we went through them and got the best ones out. We just say if we can help in any way, we will.

“All we said was we want that photograph when they put the kits on.”

Mark said the team would be printing the photo and framing it to put on the wall of the clubhouse, and he would be talking to Hamid when he returned this week to talk about what else the Magpies could do in Zanzibar.