Rotherham-born former England goalkeeper raises cash for charity

David Seaman and Frankie Poultney.
David Seaman and Frankie Poultney.
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South Yorkshire-born former England footballer David Seaman is backing an art project for an animal charity.

The 50-year-old former England goalkeeper, nicknamed Safe Hands, is among a group of celebrities to have created ‘pawtraits’ to be auctioned off.

The Rotherham-born star, model Twiggy and film star Christopher Walken are among 17 celebrities who have drawn around their hands, decorated and signed their ‘pawtraits’ for Cats Protection’s celebrity paws online auction.

Now in its seventh year, the auction raises cash for the charity which helps more than 218,000 cats and kittens each year.

The eBay auction, which finishes on Sunday, comes at a time when Cats Protection’s adoptions have slumped to a new low, with 2,000 fewer cats being adopted during 2012 than the previous year.

The charity said requests to adopt a cat via its national helpline have slumped by about 40 per cent so far this year compared to the same period in 2012.

Seaman and his partner, Dancing on Ice skater Frankie Poultney, have both contributed to the Celebrity Paws auction after adopting two cats, Smokey and Willow.

Their pets were from Cats Protection’s adoption centre in Newbury, Berkshire.

Poultney, aged 40, said: “David and I are pleased to be supporting Cats Protection.

“We hope they raise plenty of funds and help many unwanted cats find loving homes.”

Zahir White, for Cats Protection, said: “We are thankful for the paws from all of the celebrities.

“We hope to get as much money as we can for each one as it will help at a time when it is harder than ever to find homes for unwanted cats.

“Each design shows a great deal of ingenuity and craft and hopefully they’ll be popular with bidders.”