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Gunners give big match pay to children's cancer unit

PUBLISHED: 12:41 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 September 2010

SOME of the world's biggest footballing superstars will forfeit their wages this weekend to make dreams come true for a cancer charity. Instead of picking up their £10,000-a-day wages for their crucial clash against Liverpool on Sunday, Arsenal players wi

SOME of the world's biggest footballing superstars will forfeit their wages this weekend to make dreams come true for a cancer charity.

Instead of picking up their £10,000-a-day wages for their crucial clash against Liverpool on Sunday, Arsenal players will be bringing some Christmas cheer to ill children due for pioneering cancer treatment in the heart of Camden.

All the club's players and directors will give their pay packets to the gunners' charity of the season the Teenage Cancer Trust, to fund a new education centre at UCLH in Euston.

The club has launched the Be a Gooner, Be a Giver campaign to encourage supporters to give what they can. And the players have starred in a television advert alongside teenagers with cancer to promote the charity.

The footballing stars appear in funny scenarios, undertaking whatever tasks the teenagers want them to do including homework and manicures.

Team captain Cesc Fabregas said: "I visited the Teenage Cancer Trust unit back in August so I know what this means to the charity and the teenagers it helps.

"I encourage all supporters to follow our lead and give what they can. This advert is a bit of fun for the players and we hope supporters enjoy it, but there is a very real message in it about helping teenagers and we hope to raise lots of money for this worthwhile cause."

The Teenage Cancer Trust improves the lives of young people with cancer and is building a £1.2million unit in UCLH, which will be the first of its kind in Europe. Arsenal is hoping to raise £300,000 to fund an education zone within the unit where patients can keep up with their studies. They will have access to laptops with wireless internet, enabling them to contact their friends and school and even join in lessons via a webcam.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "The team and I have met some patients from Teenage Cancer Trust units on several occasions throughout the partnership and we're all struck by the strength and courage they show.

"We understand the importance of these units which give young people a sense of normality while being treated for cancer so we want to ensure we do the best we can for them."

Fundraising activities will also take place on matchday at the Emirates Stadium. And on Tuesday the team visited sick children at the Whittington Hospital as part of their Christmas charity campaign.

Simon Davies, chief executive of the Teenage Cancer Trust said, "We've been heartened to see how Arsenal players, supporters and staff have responded to the charity. The dedicated matchday is another example of this wonderful campaign in action and the generosity shown by all at the club."

For more details or to make a donation, visit www.beagoonerbeagiver.org


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