Arsenal star swings into action for Hatfield charity

11:30 10 June 2012

Arsenal and England footballer Theo Walcott at Willow Foundation

Arsenal and England footballer Theo Walcott at Willow Foundation's 12th golfing event, held at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire

Casey Gutteridge

ARSENAL and England footballer Theo Walcott was just one of the famous sporting names that swung into action at an annual golf day for the Willow Foundation.

A TRIO of sporting fundraising fixtures held in counties across the country yielded a fantastic six figure sum for Old Hatfield-based Willow Foundation.

‘Massive May’ got off to a galloping start when the sun shone on the Willow Polo Day at Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury, Gloucstershire, raising more than £30,000 on the day.

Next the Royal Berkshire Shooting School played host to an annual clay pigeon shoot where guests generously raised more than £37,000.

Finally it was back into Welwyn Hatfield for the charity’s longest running annual fundraiser – the Celebrity Golf Day, featuring stars including Arsenal and England Euro 2012 squad player Theo Walcott and ex-Gunners goalkeeper Pat Jennings.

Again it was held at Brocket Hall, Lemsford, which has been the venue since the Willow Foundation was formed in 1999.

This rounded the month off with a £45,000 total.

Charity co-founder and life president, Bob Wilson, the ex-Arsenal and Scotland goalkeeper, said: “These annual sporting events have always been incredibly successful fundraisers in the charity’s calendar.

“Despite the tough financial situation, those who attended enjoyed the occasion, but most importantly, were touched by the stories they heard of the motivating impact our special days have on seriously ill 16 to 40-year-olds and gave generously to help us make more memorable special days a reality.”

To date the Willow Foundation has provided more than 8,500 special days for people living with serious and life-threatening conditions including cancer, cystic fibrosis, motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, organ failure and Huntington’s.

For more information about the Willow Foundation telephone 01707 259777.

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