The Shirt Musical

Free Kicks Foundation are delighted to be supporting The Shirt Musical, which premieres at St. Faith’s School in Cambridge on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th June. See press release below :





It’s our national sport, and can fill us with passion, pride and excitement, but when it’s tinged with fierce rivalry, violence and commercialisation,  the ‘Beautiful Game’ can be anything but.

So how do we teach our children, and young football fans about tolerance, peace and forgiveness, on and off the pitch?

Prepare to sing along, and discover some of the answers in a new musical, created specifically for schools called ‘The Shirt’ which will debut at central Cambridge school, St Faith’s  this June.

When the main character, Zac, gets a Reds’ football shirt for his birthday, he thinks he’s the ‘man of the match’…and taunts his bitter rivals The Blues.  Swept along by his fellow Reds supporters, he
picks on an immigrant supporter for being different…but, when his own side turns on him for wearing last years kit, and he’s surrounded by angry Blues fans – Zac is forced to confront his own mistakes and learn a lesson that could change his life.

‘The Shirt’ is the brainchild of life long football fan and architect, Paul Cookson and his creative partner, media presenter (and his daughter)  Anna Cookson,  with an uplifting and toe tapping musical score by Barry Hart.

The idea was sparked when Paul witnessed some thuggish behaviour on the terraces and, outraged that the game he loved is often spoiled by hooliganism,  felt compelled to take action.  Most people would merely complain or suffer in silence, but Paul has created a vehicle to bring the message of tolerance and inclusivity to the next generation of football fans.  “We all have a role to play in influencing the behaviour of youngsters.”, he says, “Football has always been a passion of mine, and we should do what we can to help tomorrow’s fans enjoy the game with passion, but without racism or violence.”

St Faith’s head of drama, Kaye Allen comments “Our year 6 children have responded incredibly well to the themes in this musical, and we are working hard to bring the story to life.  The challenges Zac faces are easily understood by children of all ages, and our rehearsals are already producing some wonderful dramatic moments. We are all extremely excited about performing ‘The Shirt’ in front of a live audience on June 19th


‘The Shirt’ will be premiered on 19th & 20th June 2013 at St Faith’s School, Trumpington Rd,  Cambridge, CB2 8AG


Huge thanks to Anna Cookson for choosing Free Kicks to be involved with The Shirt.

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