How one AC Milan kit travelled from crisis-hit Sudan to the Mondo Milan Museum

AC Milan marked the celebrations surrounding their 122nd anniversary with a special project, at the heart of which lies an incredibly heartwarming story from Northeast Africa.

The Rossoneri, in collaboration with UNICEF and Fondazione Milan, launched a charity project as part of their corporate social responsibility to support developmental programmes in South Sudan. 

This initiative traces its origin to the time when Danish war photographer Jan Grarup visited South Sudan, documenting the ravages of severe flooding that left people in the northeast African country without food and shelter.

His sojourn led him to a village named Canal where the photographer chanced upon a boy wearing Milan’s jersey, albeit a torn jersey, one which was evidently stitched together time and again. 

Grarup, who happened to be a Milan fan, was all the more impressed by the apparent display of passion and decided to get the boy a new jersey in exchange for his old one.

Branded as a work of “art” by the photographer, Grarup donated the torn jersey to AC Milan. 

The 2016/17 home kit with “Balotelli 45” printed on the back now sits at the Mondo Milan Museum.

And the club accepted it without much ado, considering it to be a symbol reflective of “belonging, dedication and passion” as exemplified by Rossoneri fans across the globe, transcending dimensions of age and status. 

As things stand, the special jersey has made its way to the Mondo Milan Museum at Casa Milan, where it’s put on display for a special exhibition.

It provides a window of opportunity to visitors wanting to donate money which will eventually support the many initiatives of UNICEF in South Sudan.  

If it wasn’t already obvious, this incredible story is evidence enough as to why people call football the beautiful game.