In the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, around an hour’s drive due south from Marrakech, lies the ludicrously beautiful town of Asni – a sleepy collection of villages and farms inhabited by Morocco’s Berber people.
Donatello Managing Director, Sue Addis, has a deep love for this part of the world and its people.
It was while Sue was visiting her beloved Morocco a few years ago that she stumbled upon locals engaging in another of her passions – football. Sue was taken aback by the enthusiasm that the Berbers showed for the beautiful game and how, despite somewhat inadequate facilities, the young men showed great talent and aptitude.
Upon Sue’s return to England and to Donatello, the memory of these happy young men and children playing football to the backdrop of some of the world’s most beautiful scenery stayed with her.
Sue decided to surprise the Berber footballers with a gift she thought they may appreciate – A new football kit featuring the Donatello logo on the front and a bulk load of new football boots for the players to use. Unsurprisingly, the players were incredibly grateful for the gesture and vowed to put the equipment to good use.
Over subsequent years, Sue visited Morocco regularly – This area is also the home of The Eve Branson Foundation – A trust set up by Eve Branson, mother of Virgin supremo, Richard. The Eve Branson Foundation helps the ladies of the Berber villages learn to sew and make craft items which they sell in the shop they set up there. Sue is a great admirer of Eve’s work, and also the beautiful handmade goods the ladies of the village now produce. While in the area, Sue always found time to drop in and visit the footballers, often bringing new kit supplies or asking them what they needed and shipping it out upon her return.
Fast forward a few years to just last week, when Sue made another trip to Morocco and as usual, visited Asni again. There she discovered the same group of young men playing football in their inimitable joyful way, bedecked in, would you believe it – the Donatello strip!
The locals have formed a team – Tamadot United – and play their matches using the very kit that Sue donated.
Said, the team’s goalkeeper, told Sue all about Tamadot United, their now famous claret strip, and how the players have developed into a rather decent side. There is now even a children’s team – Boca Juniors of Asni, which will hopefully keep the Tamadot team supplied with young, footballing talent for many years to come. Said promised to keep Sue regularly updated on the team’s progress, and his promise was as safe as his goalkeeping hands – these wonderful photos were taken just last night as Tamadot United thumped their opposition 6-2!
We’ll post more updates on the progress of the side as and when we get them from Said and the players – a little bit of Brighton in the unlikeliest of places!