Barry Bannan and Billy Sharp have their say as Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United put rivalries aside

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Sheffield Wednesday and their city rivals, Sheffield United, are both getting involved in The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail across the city.

The trail, which is happening a year late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being put together in order to raise money for new Cancer and Leukaemia ward for the hospital, and the Owls and Blades were both keen to get involved in the tremendous cause.

The Bears of Sheffield will primarily comprise of 60 big bears, standing at 2.1m tall, as well as 100 little bears scattered around the city - with funds from the trail going towards the £2.75m target that has been set for the building of the ward.

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Building work to transform the ward began last month, and TCHC have until November to fully fund the project – the captains of the Owls and Blades have both thrown their weight behind them.

As quoted by Wednesday’s official website, Bannan said, “Everyone in Sheffield is aware of the incredible work of Sheffield Children’s Hospital and it’s vital for the city that Wednesday and United are tuned into their fundraising activities.

“The Bears of Sheffield idea is inspiring and will hopefully raise thousands and thousands of pounds to help the children in need of the care the hospital provides.

“As a club within the heart of the community, we are proud to support the Bears of Sheffield and wish this fantastic project every success.”

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Meanwhile, his Blades counterpart, Sharp, is quoted as saying, “It is vitally important that those businesses in our region that can afford to, continue to support Sheffield Children’s Hospital and the Bears of Sheffield is a great opportunity for Sheffield United to make a donation, whilst at the same time, provide individuals and families with the opportunity to have fun devising their own route to go and view and photograph themselves with the bears.

“I know the bear will prove to be popular amongst all Blades fans, football supporters in general and those who visit our great city.”

The COVID-19 pandemic saw The Children’s Hospital Charity’s fundraising fall by around 35% last year, with the current fundraising efforts coming at the perfect time to give them the boost that their fantastic work deserves.