A Friend of Friends of Pakati – Meet Simon!

Here I have an unusual profile, of someone who has become a friend of Friends of Pakati. He has done it almost by accident really…due to him following his particular passion. There came a time in 2019 where our interests overlapped, and we met. Since then, he has played a regular role in supporting our cause by raising funds….how? I hear you ask. Let Simon explain it himself, in the form of an interview I conducted with him recently…meet Simon Faulkner (pictured below with his family)!

Hi Simon! Welcome to Friends of Pakati, and thank you for agreeing to be featured here on the blog. Let me start by asking you about your interest & how it began please?

Hi Chris, no problem. You wanted to know something about my self and my love for football and football shirts! I fell in love with football at an early age, about 4. This photo is of me in my first football kit:

I am sure there is more to your story than that – please do go on!

There is, much more! I met my best mate Mark Lucas when I was 4, and he instantly had me hooked on the game. We would spend hours playing it, and talking about it! I went right through school with Mark up to College. Here we are together in our teams shirts:

Mark & Simon

Already you can see by this time I had grown an interest in football shirts, something of an obsession to this day! Let me explain if I can…

Around about this time I was a regular at Scunthorpe United, and became interested in match worn shirts. I got my first one from an ex-player’s wife, and I have carried on collecting ever since.

My favourite shirt is definitely my 1984 Umbro away shirt (rare as they come) – see the Green & Yellow shirt in the photo above.

Sadly mark passed away a few years ago, I carried on with my interest and have now over 200 Scunthorpe match worn shirts. I drive people mad with my stories of each particular shirt and spend hours looking for photos of them.

So Simon, how did you get involved with Friends of Pakati?

I saw a tweet where somebody had donated a shirt to you. I read up on the charity, and found it very humbling that you are trying to help out in this way.

Some of the shirts which were donated to friends of pakati in 2019 – Simon was instrumental in getting several hundred Pounds (£) for us by trading them. 

I have since started getting more shirts and other memrobillia for Friends of Pakati to sell to raise funds. I think we even managed to get a very rare Wealdstone United shirt a couple of years ago. I intend to carry on collecting while raising money for Chris.

Signed photo of Premier League striker Billy Sharp, tajen during his hugely successful time at Scunthorpe United – recently sold to add to our funds!

My family have been long-suffering and sometimes unwitting partners in my obsession, but my kids are also fans of Scunthorpe United – the Iron as they are known.

Mollie & Freddie in their Iron tops!

Which is your favourite top from a player?

This one! ⬇️

Ex-Scunthorpe United player Julian Broddle with his shirt which he wore v Tottenham Hotspur

Many thanks to Simon, for this blog, but especially for all the work he has done to raise much-needed funds of Friends of Pakati!👏👏👏👏


Both of us are keen Scunthorpe United fans, and we have both been lucky enough at different times to meet the most successful Iron manager (currently manager at Charlton Athletic FC), Nigel Adkins, a very friendly man who still has time for his former club – see the two pics below:

Simon, far left is next to Nigel Adkins & two of Simon’s friends.

The Author with Nigel Adkins at Glanford Park, before the Iron v Sheffield United who Nigel then managed.

• Look out for more stories, profiles, updates & pics/videos to come in the near future here at friendsofpakati.com !


My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

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