A FOOTBALL fanatic from St Neots is preparing to lead an intrepid band of footballers to Africa to help raise AIDS awareness on the continent. Steve Fleming, 30, founded the Kick 4 Life charity with brother Pete two years ago and is now organising a team

Lesotho

A FOOTBALL fanatic from St Neots is preparing to lead an intrepid band of footballers to Africa to help raise AIDS awareness on the continent.

Steve Fleming, 30, founded the Kick 4 Life charity with brother Pete two years ago and is now organising a team to travel to Lesotho, in the south of Africa.

Mr Fleming, who once dribbled a football across Malawi to raise cash for charity, is on the lookout for footballers interested in joining him for the trip.

The full-time charity worker said: "Football is an incredibly powerful tool in communicating with people across the world and we have already seen a big impact through our work out there.

"We are looking for players of all ages and abilities and it would be nice to take some people from the local area along with us."

An expedition in November this year is already full, with one Great Stukeley man among those signed up, but another venture is scheduled for November 2008.

Participants need to raise a minimum £2,200 to cover travel and accommodation expenses, plus a donation to the charity.

Mr Fleming said: "Giving people plenty of time to organise sponsorship is important as it is a lot of money, but given the right dedication it is an achievable amount.

"The main criteria for people is to have a love of football and a desire to use the game to help some of the most disadvantaged children in the world."

Mr Fleming, from Eynesbury, moved to the region eight years ago to be with his wife. He founded the Kick 4 Life charity after being inspired by his charity dribble across Malawi.

He said: "On the tour we will be taking on local teams under the guise of our K4L All Stars team.

"We will spend a proportion of the tour delivering information and education about AIDS to the children of Lesotho and training will be given to participants in the tour.

"We will take an adventure trip into the mountain region of Lesotho. It will be an amazing experience."

The tour has received the backing of Prince Harry, who spent his gap year in Lesotho in 2004.

INFORMATION: Anyone interested in going on tour, or looking to find out more about Kick 4 Life can visit www.kick4life.org or contact Steve Fleming on 07710999169.