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Sunderland-born England ‘C' goalkeeper James Montgomery launches new glove to coincide with Childrens’ Mental Health Week

England ‘C' goalkeeper James Montgomery has launched a new glove to coincide with Childrens’ Mental Health Week this week.

By Reporter
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 3:12 pm

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The amateur keeper, whose grandfather is the cousin of Sunderland legend Jim ‘Monty’ Montgomery’ has his own glove company, MonteGK, which he set up during lockdown.

And now the 27-year-old has designed a new look glove to promote mental health awareness, featuring the logo of Chester-le-Street-based charity If U Care Share.

Sunderland-born James, who is currently training with National League side Gateshead, is a friend of the charity’s founder Matthew Smith, and wanted to help raise funds and awareness for the charity, which was set up more than 10 years ago following the sudden death of Matthew’s brother Daniel.

Sunderland-born England ‘C' goalkeeper James Montgomery launches new glove to coincide with Childrens’ Mental Health Week.

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James said: “I’ve always wanted to give something to the charity and I had the idea about doing a glove and brought it up with Matthew when I bumped into him on a flight to Tenerife recently.

“I told him about the idea, had a glove drafted up, I said I wanted to put the foundation logo on there and he said it was no problem.

“It means a lot to me because I knew Matty and what he was going through when he lost his brother because we actually played together at the time.

“Then in 2010, we lost a really good friend of the family. It was actually my Dad’s best man’s son and after it happened, Matty and his Mam were there for the family, they stayed in touch and kept supporting them.”

Sunderland-born England ‘C' goalkeeper James Montgomery launches new glove to coincide with Childrens’ Mental Health Week.

His new gloves, which can be bought in child and adult sizes, have been released in Childrens’ Mental Health week, which is being held this week.

If U Care Share have launched a campaign called Challenge 39, which is aimed at highlighting the increase in mental health issues among young people.

Statistics from the NHS show that, between 2017 and 2021, 39 per cent of children aged between six and 16 experienced a deterioration in their mental health.

James started his career as a junior at Middlesbrough and since being released by the Teesside club has gone on to play for Telford United, Gateshead, Forest Green Rovers, Fylde, Southend United and Chesterfield.

Now back at Gateshead, James admitted he has had his own mental health battles during his career.

He added: "I think I’ve had mentally one of the toughest times in my life over the last year and the lads I’ve called upon the most are lads in football.

"They understand the struggles, they understand how hard it can be and how it could have been them. They’ve all been supportive and the amount of messages I’ve had is crazy really.

“People asking how I am, just checking in, and then asking when I’m back. I have close friends that I talk to, but it’s something that’s being spoken about more by players in the dressing room.

"The more people talk about these things, the more widely spoken and the more acceptable it will become.”

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