Wayne Rooney's Testimonial match in August raised £1.2 million for children's charities, the Manchester United captain's Foundation has revealed.
The sell-out match at Old Trafford saw Rooney and the Reds take on his boyhood club, Everton, with all money raised going to four chosen charities, which help vulnerable and disadvantaged youngsters, as well as towards the funding of legacy projects.
The Wayne Rooney Foundation - set up by the striker to improve and inspire the lives of children - is aiming to donate £5 million to various charities this year. Proceeds from the Testimonial match, which celebrated Wayne’s 12 remarkable years with the club, has been supported by BT MyDonate, a not-for-profit, online fundraising service for UK charities.
Those benefiting are the NSPCC - of which Wayne is the inaugural Ambassador for Childhood - plus three North-Western charities whose work is close to his and wife Coleen’s hearts. These are Claire House Children‘s Hospice, Alder Hey Children‘s Charity and the Manchester United Foundation. The fundraising work of the Wayne Rooney Foundation will continue unabated in 2017 with high-profile events to be announced in due course.
Wayne said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the Testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Wayne Rooney Foundation Chairman Rob Cotton adds: “Wayne has shown an extraordinary drive in setting up the Foundation and continues to do so. We’re looking forward to the exciting events in 2017 which we hope will help us reach our fundraising goal of £5 million.
“In addition to the generosity shown by United and Everton fans, we’d like to thank the Foundation partners, without whom, we could not have raised so much money so far. Principal partner BT broadcast the game and helped fundraising using their MyDonate platform. Facebook enabled Wayne and United to stream the match live while Key 103 radio promoted the whole event.
“Think Money Group and Hublot made significant contributions and of course Manchester United Football Club were exemplary hosts to over 60,000 fans at Old Trafford on the night.”
The match was the first between two Premier League teams to be streamed live on Facebook. Both Wayne and Manchester United streamed the game to their fans around the world. Over 3.7 million people watched the game, which made it, at the time, the most-watched live football game on the social media network.
CEO of Claire House Children’s Hospice, David Pastor, said: “For every seriously ill child that Claire House currently cares for, there’s one more that we can’t reach. Thanks to the support of the Wayne Rooney Foundation, we are looking forward to developing a specialist team of nurses to provide the very best care and support to these children and their families, wherever and whenever they need it.”
Head of Corporate and Major Giving from Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Louise Barrett, added: “We are incredibly grateful to the Wayne Rooney Foundation for this donation which will help to fund personalised patient entertainment and distraction throughout our new hospital, ensuring children and young people are less anxious and nervous about receiving treatment.
We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with both Wayne and Coleen and are excited about their plans to support Alder Hey through the Foundation during 2017. Together, we can make a difference to the thousands of children who come to our hospital every year.”