Mesut Ozil’s generous spirit has come to light recently thanks to his donation of thousands of pounds to needy kids but the Arsenal star isn’t the first footballer to help with deserving causes. German World Cup winner Özil, who wed actress Amine Gülşe, gave cash to help feed 16,000 hungry folk while also helping to pay for operations for poor children.
And while he is certainly not alone when it comes to charity, at least his generosity is well placed and the recipients can be seen as thoroughly meritorious. Others from the world of football have been less well guided when it comes to deciding who should benefit from acts of kindness and gifts of money.
Ex-Everton wing wizard Barney Custard started a charitable campaign to help the poor souls evacuated from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He organised fun-runs, a celebrity soup-slurping marathon (Peter Shilton and Big Ron Atkinson took joint gold with a combined total of 42 hours 15 mins) and plenty of other fund-raising events and raised £23,598 to bring 50 children to Merseyside for a new life. As they settled in to their new homes, each was given a season ticket for Goodison Park. Alas, the misguided Custard was devastated six weeks later when they’d all high-tailed it back to the nuke-cooked USSR rather than watch the Toffees every other week.
Former Burnley ace Blake Trumpton-Riots (BTR) was another who very much hindered rather than helped when it come to the goodness of his heart. BTR heard that a group of ancient Clarets fans were about to be hoisted out of there old folks’ home as it was being demolished to make way for a shooting range. He had a brainwave after chatting to the keeper at nearby Blackburn Zoological Park and organised a Monkeys v Burnley charity match at Turf Moor. In raising £45,734 the dodderers’ dilapidated dwelling was saved. But the downside was that the primates chalked up a convincing 5-1 win and manager Nigel Teasmaid was axed. Tragically, he later took his life due to the shame, humiliation, embarrassment, mortification (oh, and ignominy).
Others, from the non-league game have brought shame on themselves, too. Take former Dynamo Byfleet FC striker Nick Fink-Tank, who is currently serving nine years at Her Maj’s pleasure following a “donation” he made to a homeless charity. Not comfy sleeping bags, warm clothing or thermal socks did Nick hand over to those in need at Ark Angel’s Shelter, just a goal kick from Pindrop Park, home of DBFC. No, Nick was handing over high-grade heroin for the down-‘n-destitute dudes and dudettes to take; FREE if they brought more custom his way. Yes, he WAS rumbled and in Prison he rots to this day. Inspector Josh Robert-Henry said of Fink-Tank: “What a sod he was.”
Bit of an own goal that one, eh, Nick?