Club News

Jonas is "one of the game's good guys" - Foundation Director

Albion defender receives high praise upon return from India trip

ALBION Foundation Director Rob Lake has heaped praise on Jonas Olsson for the way in which he has embraced the Club’s ‘Pass It Forward’ programme in India.

The Baggies defender took a week out of his summer break to see for himself the Club’s Pass It Forward programme at work and coach some of the poorest children in New Delhi.

Lake and Olsson joined coaches from The University of Wolverhampton, our partners in the initiative who have been in the country’s capital for six weeks, to conduct a number of training sessions with disadvantaged youngsters in the city’s slums.

“Jonas has always been supportive of the work The Albion Foundation do in the UK and I knew he was one of the game’s good guys before we came out here,” said Lake.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the way he has behaved during the trip. His loving nature towards the children was apparent from the moment he stepped into the slums. 

“He could not have done more for the kids and they took him into their hearts immediately.

“He made time for everyone he met and in my wildest dreams I could not have expected him to have embraced the trip the way he did.

“He was the perfect ambassador for our Club and his efforts have helped raise awareness of this important programme.

“I would like to thank Jonas for offering up his own time to help inspire children who have very little.

“Good news stories don’t always sell but I hope Albion fans and football supporters across the UK can appreciate that this is a very special man volunteering his own time to charity.”

Albion director Adrian Wright, who started the Pass It Forward initiative three years ago, has been equally thrilled to note Jonas’ contribution.

“The impact of having one of our current players go to see for himself what the project is all about is immeasurable,” said Wright. “But the fact that Jonas has been so genuine and enthusiastic about it all takes it even greater levels.

“It’s very easy to see today’s players getting a bad press – I hope the critics also remember this effort from Jonas which we repeat was entirely of his own making.”

Lake, meanwhile, also took time thank the Club’s India Coaching Partner, Youth Football International (YFI), and the Delhi State Government for their ongoing assistance.

“Without Youth Football International we would not be able to fulfil our objectives in India," he added.

“Their assistance on the ground is paramount to the success of the ‘Pass It Forward’ programme.

“They have a dedicated team that is driving the programme forward at a rate of knots. We have already coached over 8,000 children and the word of West Bromwich Albion is quickly spreading across Delhi.

“The Delhi State Government have allowed us to use their pitches – free of charge - to implement the programme.

“In a city that does not have a large number of football pitches this has been crucial in reaching so many children.”