Finances We are very grateful to some of our supporters who have either dug deep or used their contacts to help us.

First of all, can I say a massive thank you to Mr & Mrs Andersen from Watford, who are both retired, for a wonderful donation of £500. We really appreciate it.

Also another big thank you to Trevor Dunnett and Affinity Water, who together with our Treasurer, Sean McGuigan, negotiated a new insurance policy, which means that we can finally utilise money that we have previously had to hold in abeyance.

We are not yet completely out of the woods, but we are not in the precarious position we were before Christmas, when we were down to the last possible amount of resources we could utilise.

We have produced a great Grant Application document which we hope will generate some financial support to ensure we can continue to grow. I posted a link to the report on FB and Twitter, so please do take the time to read it as the testimonials about our work are very rewarding. As I mentioned earlier, we are not yet completely out of the woods, so if you can help us then please do.

The 12th of January, 2017 is a date I will never forget and I know that everyone is still shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Graham, our fantastic Patron for so many years.

So much has been written and said by so many about what a wonderful man he was and I know many of you who attended our celebration dinners and events, saw this at first hand.  Graham is irreplaceable and we are still coming to terms with the shocking news of his passing.

I hope that you have all seen the tribute to Graham on the KitAid web site, along with the the other tribute stories we posted on Facebook and Twitter.  I also gave a radio interview on BBC Three Counties explaining the charity support side of Graham’s life and work.

I was also honored to represent KitAid at the funeral service last week, which was attended by over 400 of the most respected footballers, managers, media and family friends.

It was a truly moving service but one which highlited what an honorable and caring person he was.  I find it hard to say much more than we have already said, and I know that everyone involved with KitAid, here at home and overseas, all feel the same. We will miss him so much and we can now reflect on how lucky we were to have him as our Patron.

Rest in peace Graham, and from all 391,760 kit recipients that you have helped, THANK YOU.


I am writing this tribute on behalf of all KitAid supporters as well as the 387,636 recipients of kit across the world, who benefited from Graham’s tremendous support prior to his untimely passing.

KitAid was very fortunate to have Graham as Patron and we, as a small voluntary charity, have always been immensely proud of this. He helped us tremendously and he definitely opened doors for us that were firmly closed without his backing. He was generous with his time and always kept to every commitment, which included painstakingly signing hundreds of thank you certificates with a signature which was as clear from the first one to the very last. There must be quite a few thousand of these proudly being displayed on clubhouse walls all across the UK as a testament to his support of our work.

I can still remember my first ever conversation with Graham when he called me at work and said, “off you go, you’ve got 5 minutes to explain what KitAid does and what you want me to do….” As a fan it took me about 30 seconds to get over the shock of hearing his voice, but after a couple of minutes he stopped me and said, “ok I trust you but don’t ask me to do too many things and be aware that after a couple of years I may need to step down as I get so many requests to be Patron of different charities and groups” I think one of the proudest things about this is that he never did step down and I always felt that he liked supporting us as he loved seeing pictures of kids smiling in their new kit and he really understood the difference having boots or kit made.

Graham was incredibly generous with his time when he signed up to supporting KitAid at an event. He attended our 10th and 15th Anniversary dinners and spent most of the evening chatting to people and signing autographs. He also gave brilliant after dinner speeches which always felt as though he was just talking to you and they were so funny and interesting. He donated his last ever pair of football boots at the last dinner and I was really pleased that they sold for more than a signed pair of racing boots donated by Lewis Hamilton.

He also attended an all day conference we arranged for KitAid helpers and the charities we worked with. He was the first person to arrive and the last to leave even though he was only really supposed to attend for a couple of hours. To me it was a sign of how interested he was in the world and how he wanted to help people less fortunate. He came up to me at the end and said how one young girl had asked him to sign an autograph for her Dad who was a Luton supporter to “Turnip Head”. He said it was ok as he found out his real name was Robert so he signed it best wishes to Roberta!!! He always had a glint in his eye that made you feel comfortable and at ease.

Graham once wrote to all 92 league club kit managers on our behalf asking for kit donations at the end of the season. This letter opened doors for us with some very big clubs who would previously not have taken KitAid on board. He had so many contacts in the football world and he was always happy to share them with us.

Family was very important to Graham and we were very fortunate in getting to know Rita and Karen. Once when going to collect some signed certificates Rita invited Sally in as Graham was still signing them and she stopped ironing, made a cup of tea and caught up on our latest news. My proudest moment was when I was invited to attend the renaming of the Graham Taylor stand at Vicarage Road as a guest. It was a very special event but Graham and Rita went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I sat next to the couple who had asked Graham to be best man at their wedding, which he did, and they were still friends years afterwards. Only Graham would do something like this.

We will miss Graham so much but will always look back with pride that little KitAid was supported by such an incredible man. He took us to a higher level and always inspired us to carry on and achieve more. We are a small charity but we do things the right way, the Graham way. Graham’s legacy will live on and there are 387,636 individual testaments to this all across the world, who would not have received kit or been able to play the game we all love.

Finally we would like to offer our sincere condolences to Rita and family and to the whole football family across the world.  Thank you Graham and God bless you.

Derrick Williams MBE on behalf of all KitAid supporters