Soccer trio put rivalry aside to support charity

Both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday are supporting St Luke's Starlight Walk. From left, nurse Jo Brooks, Chris Sedgwick Tommy Miller, Daniel Bogdanovich, and Rachel Chapman

Both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday are supporting St Luke's Starlight Walk. From left, nurse Jo Brooks, Chris Sedgwick Tommy Miller, Daniel Bogdanovich, and Rachel Chapman

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THERE are not many things that unite rival Owls and Blades but these star footballers put aside their sporting differences to support a remarkable Sheffield institution.

Wednesday midfielders Chris Sedgwick and Tommy Miller and United striker Danny Bogdanovic came together to back a massive fundraising drive for St Luke’s Hospice.

The charity is holding its first-ever sponsored Starlight Walk next month, and The Star is supporting its campaign to make it go with a bang.

The 5km walk goes from Endcliffe Park to Forge Dam and back on the evening of Saturday, May 21, and aims to raise at least £50,000.

The hospice, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, cares for over 1,000 Sheffield people in their own homes at a cost of more than £4 million a year.

Maltese Blades star Danny Bogdanovic, 31, told The Star he was impressed with St Luke’s work.

“At some stage we might all get ill and when we reach that stage we hope someone else can help us,” he said.

“St Luke’s needs donations to keep going and the Starlight Walk is a great way to back this organisation.

“Many of our fans will know somebody who is helped by St Luke’s. Our fans turn out to see us every week and this is our way of giving back.”

Owls midfielder Chris Sedgwick, 30, who grew up in Wincobank, said: “We know St Luke’s is a really important Sheffield institution and always has been.

“This is a really important campaign so I hope as many people as possible take part on May 21.”

The ‘Yorkshire Express’, as he was known in his days as a Rotherham United player, added: “It’s vital that people get behind it and help St Luke’s continue the good job they are doing.”

Wednesday midfielder Tommy Miller, 32, added: “United, Wednesday and St Luke’s are all important Sheffield institutions and that’s why we have come together to support this cause.

“I would urge anyone who is free on the evening of May 21 to sign up.”

Nearly 200 people have already put their names down for the event, but organisers are hoping for many more.

Una Moran, director of fundraising and communications at St Luke’s, said: “It is a huge boost to have the support of both of Sheffield’s football clubs, which are really important to the people of this city, as is St Luke’s.

“We need to raise over £4m a year just to carry on caring for our patients.

“We look after more than 1,000 patients in their homes with 10 community nurses.

“We need to fund those nurses to enable them to go out and support patients and help them stay in their own homes for as long as they wish to.

“St Luke’s desperately needs this funding support and we are so very grateful for every little donation we get.”

The fundraising evening begins at 6.30pm on May 21 with live entertainment in the park.

The walk will set off at 8.45pm - providing a twilight setting for participants.

You can walk in memory of someone who was close to you, walk for someone you know who has been helped by St Luke’s – or just walk for fun and fitness.

There are registration discounts for groups of more than six and for under-16s.

If you fancy getting your boots on under the stars visit www.thestar.co.uk or call 0114 235 7594 for more information about the event and to sign up.

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