EASTLEIGH Football Club have taken their chance to Shine – in more ways than one.

Prior to a recent sparkling 2-0 National League win over Tranmere Rovers, there was a guard of honour from Shine South, one of the chosen charities the club support through their blossoming community programme.

A bucket collection was held at the Silverlake on behalf of the charity which supports children and young adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and their parents.

Several of the Shine youngsters got to meet the Eastleigh players, including a very excited Andrew Huggins (pictured with the squad).

Sharon King, EFC community officer, explained: “It was agreed this year to support a local charity of our choice and I met with this community group and wanted them to engage with me as my charity.

“Andrew had many tears of excitement, from meeting Paul Reid (the club’s Shine ambassador) and the players to sadness when the game finished, thinking he wouldn’t see the players again.

“But, on the back of this lovely story, Andrew and a few of the other young adults are going to join in our Pan Disability football when the season commences again in September.”

Eastleigh’s player/head scout Reid is honoured to be supporting Shine South as EFC ambassador.

He said: “I don’t have personal experience of spina bifida, but I do have children of my own, so I have a huge empathy for anyone that is dealing with disabilities or illnesses. I can only imagine how the parents feel.

“I feel a little bit helpless and I’d love to wave a magic wand and do more but, hopefully, the bits I can do make some small difference to the lives of families.”

Earlier in the summer former Barnsley centre-back Reid, teammates Michael Green and James Constable and ex-Spitfire Yemi Odubade painted the outside of a holiday lodge at Shine’s New Milton base.

A Shine South spokesman said: “We are all so excited to be working with Eastleigh’s Paul Reid.

“It is so important for people to understand the personal battle a member may be facing, so Paul will play an integral role getting to know the children and adults who belong to Shine South.”