GENEROUS junior rugby league players have donated more than a dozen shoeboxes filled with tasty treats to soldiers serving their country in Iraq.

Rylands Sharks u13s held a collection for the troops as team member Marshall Hayes’ older brother is currently in the Middle East with the army.

Initially, the drive was held to send goodies to him and his girlfriend - who is also currently serving in Iraq - but the young players managed to fill a total of 15 shoeboxes with chocolates, sweets, crisps and toiletries.

Mum Debbie Myers said: “It just started out with me sending care packages to my son and his girlfriend once a month, but I was sat there one night when I thought it would be nice to surprise them and send them a box each from the boys.”

“I just asked people to bring a bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps.

“Everybody from the rugby team was giving things for them and in the end we’ve end up with unlimited amounts of food and toiletries.

“Hundreds of items were donated, and we ended up making 15 boxes which they will share out with all the other troops.

“They’ve been sent with a letter thanking them for all they do, and that we’re thinking of them.”

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The pair have been in Iraq since the start of December and are not due to come home for another seven months.

Debbie added: “My son said it will be a massive boost for a morale for the troops over there to get loads of chocolate and crisps, as these are things that they don’t really get over there.

“I was amazed at the response - there are puzzle books and games and playing cards as well as cup-a-soups and Pot Noodles and chocolates and toiletries .

“I’m absolutely amazed with the boys - they’re a great bunch of lads.”

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