Arsenal footballer Lukas Podolski out with collection bucket in Hampstead

Arsenal’s star striker Lukas Podolski took to the streets of Hampstead to raise money for the club’s charity, which funds education and sporting initiatives across north London.

The German international, who lives in the area, strolled up and down the Hampstead High Street amongst Christmas shoppers with a collection bucket.

He helped raise awareness of Arsenal’s dedicated charity match day with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (December 8) - which raised more than �200,000.

Speaking about the fundraising event, Podolski said: “I like the tradition that Arsenal has with helping the community and in particular providing education for young children, it’s a basic right that everyone should have in life and it’s important that we contribute off the pitch as well as on it.”

Each of Arsenal’s first team squad donated a day’s wages to the cause and Podolski said the players were only happy to be able to help.

“As players we know that we are in a privileged position and can help people who are less fortunate than us, to donate a day’s wage is an easy choice to make,” he said.

The Arsenal Foundation was set up earlier this year and aims to transform the lives of young people through various education and sporting projects in local boroughs.

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Podolski is not the only Arsenal player to have put down roots in the area, with Spanish winger Santi Cazorla and German defender Per Mertesacher both recently moving to Hampstead.