Football stars’ Christmas gift to ill Sunderland children

Sister Sharon Thompson receives a cheque from Richie Duggan and Michael Ganley at the Niall Quinn Childrens Centre, Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sister Sharon Thompson receives a cheque from Richie Duggan and Michael Ganley at the Niall Quinn Childrens Centre, Sunderland Royal Hospital.
0
Have your say

Hundreds of pounds have been handed over to a Wearside children’s hospital after superstars took to the pitch.

The Match, which was held in August, saw former SAFC favourites Julio Arca, Alex Rae, Gary Bennett, Martin Smith and Jamie Lawrence all pull on their boots at Ryhope CW’s ground.

Julio Arca, Michael Ganley and Richy Duggan.

Julio Arca, Michael Ganley and Richy Duggan.

England international Trevor Sinclair, ex-Aston Villa midfielder Mark Draper and Sky Sports’ Peter Graves and Keith Downey also took part.

Cash raised from the game has been split between two worthy causes, with St Ignatius Church in Hendon receiving more than £1,600 to help towards badly-needed repairs.

Now, a total of £1,635 has also been passed on to the Niall Quinn Children’s Centre, at Sunderland Royal Hospital, which was set up with money donated by the former striker after his testimonial in 2002.

Organiser of The Match Michael Ganley said: “There are a lot of poorly children who need caring for and the efforts put in by the staff are sometimes taken for granted.

There are a lot of poorly children who need caring for and the efforts put in by the staff are sometimes taken for granted.

Michael Ganley

“The work they do is fantastic.”

Michael, who is a collector of Sunderland AFC memorabilia and hopes to create a permanent museum for his pieces in Sunderland city centre, added that preparations are now under way for next year’s game.

“The game is going to be called The Match of 1992, with players who played for Sunderland in the FA Cup final against Liverpool that year,” he added.

“I’ve got eight of that team signed up to play, so we’ll be bringing them back together with Malcolm Crosby managing them once again.”