Patrick Bamford following Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford's lead as Leeds United striker explains celebration 'bolt'

Patrick Bamford makes a Z shape with his hands upon celebrating his Leeds United goals.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 1:20 pm

There's been enough examples, 17 goals to be precise throughout the 2020-21 Premier League campaign.

Bamford then wheels away before locking his hands together through his thumbs as the two index fingers point in opposite directions.

This, says Bamford, is 'the bolt', but the Whites striker also knows most fans will not have a clue what that means.

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BOLT FOR PLANET: Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford's goal celebration. Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.
BOLT FOR PLANET: Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford's goal celebration. Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

But therein lies the whole point as the Whites no 9 aims to raise awareness for climate change, following Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in making a difference to crucial issues away from the football field.

Bamford could have continued his academic learning at Harvard had he wished to only to instead pursue his ambitions as a professional footballer.

But the 27-year-old now hopes he can educate others when it comes to protecting the environment.

The forward admits that taking extra steps to safeguard the planet was not particularly high in his thinking as the Grantham-born striker came through the ranks at Nottingham Forest and then sealed a switch to Chelsea in January 2012.

But Bamford's outlook changed when a friend became involved with the concept of sustainable running shoes and now Bamford is determined to do his bit as well.

As Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford continues in his campaign against child hunger, Bamford is joining in by hoping to preserve the planet that we live on.

Explaining how his fight for sustainability of the Earth arose, Bamford told Sky Sports: "It's something that as I have got older I have got more interested in.

"I'm going to be honest and when I was in my early 20s/late teens, I didn't really pay that much attention to the environment.

"Obviously there was the standard recycling stuff but it was really when my mate created the sustainable running shoes that I started getting more involved and learning more about it and realised how important it was so in the last maybe three or four years I have really taken a keen interest in it."

Opening up on what his goal celebration actually means, Bamford explained: "Originally when I started getting involved with the shoe company and the sustainable shoe company - the HyLo - the sign for them is the bolt.

"Whilst I didn't want to just be pushing the shoe company forward, the bolt actually stands for bolt for planet so it was trying to raise awareness for climate change.

"I remember when I was a little kid at school that I used to go and watch the Forest games and whoever scored I'd copy their celebration.

"So I thought while it's kind of mad to think, there are probably kids out there who are copying my celebration when I score, and I've actually seen it in people tagging me in pictures on Twitter and stuff.

"Originally people were just copying it and no one knew what it was for, they just thought it was a hand signal, and I saw people asking 'what's it for?'

"Since then I've tried to put out on Instagram and stuff to show people that it is bolt for planet, it's trying to raise awareness for climate change.

"I feel like the majority of people who are going to do it are kids really.

"If you can start getting them to ask questions about why they're doing it, and they start learning and learn from a young age it kind of helps them grow and carry it forward with them.

"That's kind of the idea."

Bamford does not expect those who are alerted to his plight to make radical changes.

But that's fine with the Whites no 9 who says even small alterations will make a significant difference.

"I'm not going to be the person who says you have got to change to vegan or you've got to fully change your wardrobe because I am not even like that," said Bamford.

"It's doing little bits and little bits will make a big difference.

"Maybe even having one day a week eating vegan meals might help, making sure you are recycling.

"It sounds so simple but the amount of people who are fly tipping and chucking things out of their window.

"Just make a conscious effort and try and help the environment.

"I think if you got every single person in the country to do that and in the world then it would make a big difference.

"It's the little details that can make a big change.

"If everyone just changes something little in their day to day life it has a big impact.

"I'm not saying everyone has to go and buy sustainable clothing or stuff like that or sustainable running shoes but just if everyone starts to make a little change in their life then it's going to help in the long run I think."

And that help, says Bamford, is crucial, for the planet as a whole including competitive sport.

"You need the environment for sport - think about how many sports are played outside," said Bamford.

"Years ago you saw a lot about bush fires and stuff over in different countries and you thought 'oh that's miles away, it's never going to happen in England,'.

"But then recently at the Women's golf championship down in Surrey there were bush fires - that's unheard of in England, so you start thinking this a serious problem, so you've got to start acting.

"I think that Marcus has shown that this year - that you can do so much on the pitch but you can do even more off the pitch and I think he's kind of set the ball rolling for a lot of us.

"That's pushed me or kind of given me the impetus to do more and show that I can make a change as well. So hopefully it won't just be me, it will be a lot of people following suit.

"Climate change seems to have been around for so long people more or less take it for granted.

"It's one of them things that's a little bit more worrying now the more I learn about it.

"People aren't going to start reacting to it until it's probably too late which is the issue and why we are trying to raise awareness to it."

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Thank you Laura Collins