Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has donated £500,000 worth of toys to a local charity for Christmas.
Ferdinand, who has also provided 11,500 sleeping bags to be given to homeless people in Manchester, has pledged the money to Cash for Kids, run by local radio station Key 103, on behalf of himself and his restaurant, Rosso.
The charity offers help to children living in poverty and those who have suffered abuse, deprivation or neglect across Manchester.
Ex-England international Ferdinand made the donation last week, with the toys being delivered to the Mission Christmas warehouse ahead of distribution to children in need.
“As a father myself I couldn’t see children going without opening a present this Christmas Day,” Ferdinand was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“The work that Cash for Kids at Key 103 do is truly amazing. I’m glad that my restaurant Rosso and I can be involved in this and help put a smile on locals kids’ faces this Christmas Day.”
Ferdinand added on Key 103’s Breakfast Show: “Me and the guys at Rosso have seen what’s been going on in the city, and with it being Christmas we know there are a lot of people less fortunate than we are. So we have decided to donate £500,000 worth of toys and gifts.
“But Manchester has got to get behind what we are doing — everyone can get involved and donate what they can.”