TalentAid, a new charitable venture funded by Freemasons, has come to the assistance of football-crazy youngster Daniel Stuart from Shropshire
A substantial grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) will help fund costs such as kit and travel this season. Nine-year-old Dan, who is a pupil at Whitchurch Church of England Junior School, has played soccer since he was just four years old. While a member of Prees under VIIs he was spotted by talent scouts from Stoke, Manchester United and Aston Villa and had trials with these clubs, but opted to go on the books of Shrewsbury Town last year as a more practical choice.
Dan’s talent as a central midfielder has been appreciated by his coaches as he trains each week at the Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology and the Sundorne Sports Village. So too has his temperament, which is pleasant and generous – he is often called on to assist younger players in their training.
Mother Mandy and grandfather Ron Ingall have been only too aware of the strain on the family that travelling to away games and training sessions have caused, and for a time it seemed as though Dan might have to set aside his dream of training to become a senior footballer. Fortunately, the newly formed MCF – the result of four national masonic charities combining into one – judged that Daniel’s case was worthy of their support, and approved the grant.
Jeremy Lund, spokesman for Shropshire’s Freemasons, was delighted with the news: 'Masonic charities support the young, the old, national and local causes, medical research, emergency services and much more. This is special, however, as Dan is one of the first young people in Shropshire to benefit from a TalentAid grant. We wish this talented and pleasant lad a bright future.'