HE may be rubbing shoulders with Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson but Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers hasn’t forgotten his roots in Carnlough.
For the Swans boss has donated cash to buy local club Carnlough Swifts new kits for this year’s league campaign.
The team will carry the logo of Marie Curie Cancer Care on its shirts – a charity close to Rodgers’ heart.
In June, just weeks after guiding Swansea into the Premier League, Rodgers scaled new heights when he reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa raising money for the charity. His father, Malachy, is suffering from the disease.
Swifts secretary Martin McKinley recalls playing in the same side as Rodgers in the late 1980s and has remained in touch with him.
“I had been over to see Swansea a few times last year and Brendan said he would buy the club a new kit. It’s a really nice gesture,” he said. “We then wrote to Marie Curie Cancer Care to ask for their permission to carry their logo on our shirts.”
As a teenager, Rodgers made a few appearances for the side, then known as Carnlough United, before making the step into Irish League football with Ballymena United.
Having gone on to work as a coach under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, he has since climbed the football management ladder with spells at Watford and Reading before guiding Swansea to the top-flight for the first time in 28 years via the Championship play-offs in May.
On Saturday, Rodgers’ brother Declan was on hand to present the new kits to the club along with fellow sponsors John and Susan McAuley from the Bridge Inn/McAuley’s Hotel.