2 MARCH 2007

When top football teams like Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur meet on the pitch, helping each other out is the last thing on their minds. It would appear they're more than happy to join forces away from the field, though, as a series of the Premiership's biggest names are teaming up to help Britain's nurses.

Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are collaborating with Portsmouth's David James and Spurs star Jermaine Dafoe to help hard-up health workers. Along with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and six other players, they have decided to donate a day's wages to young nurses struggling to make ends meet in the early part of their career.

Organisers are hoping all 556 of the Premiership's players will follow the example of their colleagues by agreeing to the generous gesture. The plan will see them hand over their earnings on May 13, the day the Mayday For Nurses campaign comes to a close.

Many of the footie stars have benefited from the services of health care professionals in the past, as they often pick up injuries in the course of their work. "My mum was a nurse and I know how hard she had to work and I know how hard it is for nurses," said West Ham striker Nigel Reo-Coker, who is also participating in the fundraising scheme. "For me they are the real heroes in our society, and this is a chance for us to make a difference."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Manchester United hero Ryan Giggs is among the big names who have already signed up for the unusual fundraising venture. Organisers are hoping to recruit all 556 players from the Premiership by May 13Photo: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
David James, seen here in an advertisement for Armani, will also hand over a day's wages to benefit trainees in the caring progession
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