Tag Archives: charity

Stars on Canvas – Gunners Paint For Charity

Some say football is an art form, but some Arsenal legends have taken it further – by producing art themselves – and you can win their work!

One-off artwork by Arsenal players and legends, Paul Merson, Ian Wright, David Seaman, Bob Wilson, Sol Campbell and Jordan Nobbs is up for grabs in online charity auction, Stars on Canvas, from November 15 with bids starting at just 99p.


Stars on Canvas is a collection of unique artwork created by more than 250 stars of TV and film, sports personalities and musicians, as well as respected artists, illustrators and cartoonists.

View the Stars on Canvas collection and find out how to bid atwww.starsoncanvas.org.uk

Each and every canvas will be sold in aid of Willow, the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days –www.willowfoundation.org.uk

Arsenal Legends Vs Real Madrid Legends Match

Last year, amidst the apathy that surrounded our team and their lackadaisical efforts on the pitch – FA Cup aside that is – the club did do something that was truly special.

We assembled our legends – from different generations – to take on an AC Milan Glorie side that contained some of the biggest names of seasons past. Now, we’re doing it again, as we call up our luminaries to take on the best of Real Madrid’s recent past.

Legends from the Spanish and English game, putting on a footballing spectacle at The Emirates.

It’s enough to start salivating over, and the details that are spilling out from both clubs surrounding this festival of football and fandom spread out over 90 minutes only serves as a teasing appetiser.

We first take on Real Madrid’s outfit of legends at the Santiago Bernabeu in June, with a second match due to take place at The Emirates on Saturday 8 September. The matches were announced in Madrid and Robert Pires, one of our finest, was in Spain’s capital to help herald the news.

What really makes this exciting news is last years installment of Legends goodness. We took on AC Milan Glorie, and some of our most beloved former players were on show, as well as some glittering players from Milan’s yesteryear.

It was a smorgasbord of fan-heaven, and names that are forever etched in football;s annals took to our home ground’s pitch to strut their stuff. The match didn’t disappoint, and we were privy to a Nwankwo Kanu hat-trick, but the cherry on the Arsenal cake was our last goal, scored by our very own Bobbi, ably assisted by Freddie Ljungberg – we love you, because you’ve got no hair…

So, if that unforgettable game is anything to go by, this delicious prospect of a match against Real’s finest from the past is one to keep tabs on – but who can we expect to see take to the pitch and entertain us once again?

Bobbi Pires is one name that is sure to get us Gooners interested, and there are a few other of his fellow Invincible’s expected to take part. Freddie Ljungberg, Sol Campbell, Lauren, Gilberto Silva and Ray Parlour are all set to wear the famous jersey once again.

We also had David Seaman in goal at the ripe age of 52, Emmanuel Petit in midfield as well as cameos from Super Swede Anders Limpar, some parts of the best defence our shores have ever seen with the appearance of Nigel Winterburn – who also recreated the famous Paolo Di Canio ref push with the man himself – and AC Milan had Marcel Desailly, Alesandro Costacurta and Cafu to rely on. Our players won the game 4-2, and enthralled us all in the process.

They’ll need every bit of their famous talents in order to gain a favourable result against Real’s pool of icons.

There have been a few names mentioned that will be wearing the white of Madrid. Raul Gonzalez, Xabi Alonso and Roberto Carlos are just three names that will line up against our men in red and white – and there’s better news than that.

Both games are being played to gather funds for each clubs’ respective Foundations, with the first game going to Real Madrid’s charity efforts, and the second game at our home ground will go to the Arsenal Foundation. Last years game vs AC Milan Glorie raised over £1m, so there are high hopes for this upcoming tussle.

Tickets for Platinum and Gold Members go on sale from 3 April. Silver and Junior Gunners can purchase tickets from 16 April and Red Members from 18 April.

I don’t normally disclose ticket details, but this is for a great cause, and above all else – missing out on one last chance to see our heroes take to the pitch is something that we should all really endeavour to see.

An Incredible Challenge, An Inspiring Story, An Amazing Charity

Charity events need to push the boundaries further each time in order to gain the deserved level of publicity.

This unfortunately means the person performing the boundary pushing needs to go through some sort of ordeal. One that has most onlookers donating through sheer pity for the poor guy or girl suffering.

Suffering for a worthy cause though. One of those causes is particularly close to Gooners hearts.

The Willow Foundation was created by Arsenal legend Sir Bob Wilson and his wife Megs. They started Willow to help people aged between 16-40 going through horrendous illness and punishing treatments.

Willow gives people a perfect day just when they need it most. A VIP day at their beloved club. A holiday to forget about the debilitating and sapping disease and remember who they are, even for a short time.

Or, the perfect moment could be renewing their wedding vows, just like Luke James.

Luke was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma on the 3rd December, 2006. It was his one year wedding anniversary. This particular strain affects the immune system, and Luke soon began to struggle. This meant his family struggled too.

Worse was yet to come,if that was possible. Luke was given just 40% chance to live. His new wife and their two young children were looking at a future without him.

It’s obvious that Luke survived these insurmountable odds, as he is the subject of this story. He survived thanks to more than six months of chemotherapy that left him unable to stand on his own at times. His family were on their proverbial knees, Luke was literally on his.

During his treatment, Luke was introduced to The Willow Foundation, and he used their inspirational stories to get off the ropes. They gave him the hope he needed, when all seemed to be slipping away.

Willow vowed to do something special for him in order to help him fight through. Luke and his wife Kathryn didn’t want their wedding date to be forever paired with the misery that has followed them around. So Willow offered to help them renew their wedding vows, give them the day they deserve.

Now, Luke wants to pay them back for helping him get his life back – and countless others.

Last year, Luke ran two marathons within a week. This would be gruelling for a pro, but Luke is as regular a fellow as you’re likely to meet. Yet, he pushed himself to do it for the charity that gave him so much.

Now, for some crazy reason, Luke is doing it again – but doubling his efforts.

Luke is planning to run 4 marathons in a month. Manchester, Brighton, Milton Keynes and London are the roads his poor limbs will be running on.

He needs your help. Not to run all those miles – he is firmly on his own there – but he needs your donations.

If his story has struck a chord, then just click here. It is Luke’s Just Giving page. Whatever you can spare is gratefully received.

We all want to donate more, but money and so many choices of charity leave us either confused or just broke. We all want to do more, and this is the perfect situation.

Let Luke run the miles, tear his feet to shreds and suffer ice baths and aching limbs. All we have to do is give a little bit of cash – and we can get the warm glow knowing we’ve made a difference to someone’s life.

Luke is doing something incredible, both physically and selflessly. Let us give him the support he will need when he is on his own running on empty. 

Arsenal Win 2017 Community Shield! 

Published on The Arsenal Review.

Arsenal came from behind to defeat Chelsea on penalties and win the 2017 Community Shield.

Whilst some denounce the Community Shield as nothing more than just another friendly, there are some reasons that unfolded on the pitch to suggest Arsenal can be quietly confident this coming season. 

Arsene Wenger was unable to call on leading lights Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil, as well as Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny, so his selected eleven was a weaker one than he would have preferred. 

Alex Iwobi came into the team and Danny Welbeck was in the attacking three also. Per Mertesacker came into the team to once again haunt Chelsea, with Mohamed Elneny taking Rambo’s midfield spot.

Antonio Conte had the luxury of a nearly complete squad, with only Eden Hazard and Tiemoue Bakayoko missing. It meant Chelsea went into the game as favourites, but just like the FA Cup Final – Arsenal paid no heed to their underdog tag.

The Gunners were faster out of the blocks, with Alexandre Lacazette looking in good touch and Hector Bellerin getting forward to great effect.

It would be Lacazette who would have the best chance too, linking up well with Bellerin before curling an effort onto the post with Courtois beaten. 

Before that, Gary Cahill smashed his elbow into the nose of Per Mertesacker, forcing the German off with blood pouring from the wound. On came new boy Sead Kolasinac, and the Bosnian would make a big difference. 

Chelsea did have one opportunity, and one they claimed should have been a penalty. William went down and referee Bobby Maddely booked the Brazilian for simulation. Upon close inspection, it could have gone either way as there was contact, but Willian did make the most of it.

Half time came and went and it was Chelsea who started the better in the second half, and Victor Moses broke the deadlock.

The Nigerian, the villain of the FA Cup Final in May, chested down a header from Cahill and slotted past Cech. 

The Blues started to gain confidence, but the ten minutes of pressure after the goal they exerted came to nothing.

It would cost them dearly.

Granit Xhaka stretched Courtois with a ferocious long range strike, but Gooners had to wait until the 82nd minute for the equaliser their team deserved.

The 80th minute saw Pedro plant his studs on the Achilles of Elneny, and the Spaniard was sent off. The resultant set-piece saw Xhaka float in a tantalising ball which Sead Kolasinac met and he headed into the far corner.

There would be no extra time, so penalties were the order of the day. This would be the first fixture where the order of the takers would switch to the new ‘ABBA’ format. The reason? 60% of the sides who took the first penalty in the old format would win.

So, history was made, and Arsenal again were successful in a shootout, with Thibaut Courtois and Alvaro Morata missing their efforts and Arsenal converting all of theirs.

The Shield was won, and again they had won a trophy with holes in their side. It was the display which pleased most of us though. Tough but swift in attack at times, Arsenal look well equipped for the coming season. 

This may or may not constitute a trophy, but it is definitely a great start. 

A Mammoth Task – A Worthy Cause. The Willow Foundation.

There always seems to be a charity that are vying for your hard earned readies. Whether it is the latest natural disaster to strike our planet, or a televised night in which celebrities gamely fool around in order to drum up funds from the gracious viewers.

This raft of organisations donating time and money to various causes all have the same thing in common – They all deserve the aid.

Being a football supporter these days means that you see your club involved with some fantastic fundraising schemes. Only recently, Arsenal donated a days wages to the Arsenal Foundation.  This Foundation in turn does work and donates funds to their charity partners, which are Save The Children, and the Willow Foundation.


Continue reading A Mammoth Task – A Worthy Cause. The Willow Foundation.