Spend it like Beckham: Stars of world charity XI show generosity of football

3 February 2013

When David Beckham announced on Thursday (31 January) that he would be giving the wages from his stint at Paris Saint Germain to a children's charity in Paris, the story hit the headlines.

But a new Fantasy Premier League Charitable XI – featuring stars from the top-flight, past and present – shows that when it comes to giving major sums to charity, David Beckham is in good company.

The Charities Aid Foundation, which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations, has drawn up the charity squad, based on football stars – who have played in the Premier League – with a track record of backing the causes they care about.

The squad highlights that David Beckham’s decision to donate his wages to charity puts him in a long tradition of footballing generosity – with money being donated by players from a range of sources – from charity matches to club foundations, and fund-raisers across the country.
Premier League fans and clubs also have a track record of backing charity.

Fans give an average of £15 a month to charity, according to research published by CAF last summer.

Meanwhile Premier League clubs across the country have charitable foundations and all have at least one charitable partner.

The Fantasy Premier League Charitable XI:

GK: David James (Formerly Liverpool, Manchester City, Aston Villa, West Ham &Portsmouth): Set up David James Foundation, which combats poverty in Malawi.

LB: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham): Set up the BA32 Foundation to encourage children across the globe to learn more about mathematics, science and technology.

CB: Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United, Leeds): Set up the Rio Ferdinand Foundation in 2012, to replace the Rio Ferdinand Live the Dream Foundation. The foundation has a broad remit looking to support young people and communities around the world.

CB: Lucas Radebe (formerly of Leeds United): Has acted an ambassador of FIFA for SOS Children's Villages; he also received the FIFA Fair Play Award in December 2000 for his contribution in ridding soccer of racism as well as for his work with children in South Africa.

RB: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool): Set up the 23 Foundation within the Community Foundation for Merseyside to give grants to local charities in Liverpool.

LW: Dirk Kuyt (formerly of Liverpool): Set the Dirk Kuyt Foundation to help children in poverty around the world.

CM: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): Set up his own foundation, which gives grants to children's charities in Liverpool.

CM: Michael Essien (Formerly of Chelsea): Set up the Michael Essien Foundation funding projects in his home town of Awutu Breku, Ghana.

RM: David Beckham (Fomerly of Manchester United): Has pledged to donate his salary at Paris St Germain to charity

FW: Didier Drogba (Formerly of Chelsea): Set up Dider Drogba foundation to raise money to build a hospital in Abdijan, Ivory Coast.

FW: Craig Bellamy (Formerly of Manchester City, Liverpool, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, currently Cardiff) Set up Craig Bellamy foundation to help children in Sierra Leone.


Ryan Giggs (Manchester United): Acts as a UNICEF ambassador
Jason Roberts (Reading) Set up Jason Roberts Foundation, which works in UK and Grenada.

Rory Delap (Barnsley and Stoke City): Completed a 174 mile coast to coast bike ride to raise money for a children's hospice in Stoke - on – Trent as part of his charity work.

Rob Green (Queens Park Rangers): climbed Kilimanjaro for charity


The computer game, Football Manager, which donates a portion of the price of each game sold to the charity War Child.


Niall Quinn, Former Sunderland striker who donated all the money from his testimonial match (over £1m) to charity.

Paul Rees, Executive Director at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “While there is always talk about huge transfer fees and mammoth wages, it’s great to know that top footballers care about good causes as well as the action on the pitch.

“Giving to charity is as rewarding as the beautiful game, and in these tough times, it is more vital than ever to back the causes we all care about.”

“David Beckham’s decision to donate his wages from Paris Saint-Germain is exactly the sort of generous act which shows the power of giving to make a difference in the world.

“We need role models like the giants of football to show that giving to charity is as rewarding as the beautiful game, and in these tough times, it is more vital than ever to back the causes we all care about.”

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