A group of Aston Villa fans in Ghana have expressed their thanks after England star Tyrone Mings led a fundraising campaign to support them.
Mings announced earlier this year he was fronting an effort to help support football and education in the town of Juaben.
The Aston Villa defender worked alongside Futurestars charity, Birmingham-based DJ Nathan Dawe, and artist Jodie Trapp to raise in excess of £7,000.
Founder of Ghana Lions, Owusu Boakye Amando said: “Tyrone raised the money to help the team here and to help support the children who don’t go to school because their parents can’t afford to pay their bills.
“We’ve bought footballs, training bibs, goalposts and nets, and the rest of the money has been spent on supporting the kids with education.”
Based in the Ashanti region, Amando runs an education-led football development programme with the team of Juaben Aston Villa.
“Our dream is for some of our players to become professional footballers, to play for the national team and most importantly to play for Aston Villa,” he added.
Since the group was founded in 2010, the town’s obsession with the club has grown to a following of more than 1,000 people.
As well as football, Ghana Lions is dedicated to helping educate children who regularly attend classes.
“In the next coming years we want every child in our village to be educated,” Amando said.
“We would also love to see some of our members who have completed secondary school and training colleges further their education in Birmingham universities.”
Mings, who has 17 caps for England, continues to make a difference with his work off the field.
“We really appreciate what he is doing for us. We wish him the best of luck and to stay injury free,” Amando added. “May God bless him.
“He has really made us believe that Aston Villa is a family irrespective of where you come from.”