West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Sullivan has fulfilled a promotion pledge by donating a five figure sum to a charity for children with autism.

The co-owner of the Hammers celebrated his club's promotion back to the Premier League with the generous donation to Anna Kennedy Online.Com

Anna is the driving force behind the largest facility in Europe for educating and supporting people of all ages with autism. Director of Hillingdon Manor School in London, she took her work into cyberspace with the launch of a website dedicated to helping young people with the condition.

Now the charity will be able to expand its work thanks to the support of the east London club's Joint-Chairman.

Mr Sullivan said: "West Ham United is more than just a football club. Since 1895 we have been rooted in the community and working hard for the benefit of London.

"We support many charities and in particular those who work tirelessly to help children.

"I have known Anna for some time and the passion she has for her work to help those with autism is clear to see. So I am delighted to share the success of our wonderful club with her by personally donating a five figure sum to this most deserving cause."

Anna added: "More and more young people are affected by autism and the feedback we get through our website is beginning to reveal the true extent of the condition and how much work there is to be done to help.

"When David pledged to help us if his club won promotion I couldn't believe it and I have never rooted so much for a London team. I'm absolutely thrilled by his generosity and support and can assure him that his donation will be put to very good use."

Anna launched her charity because both her sons, Patrick and Angelo, were affected by autism but she was turned away by no fewer than 26 special needs schools when searching for appropriate educational facilities for them.

She decided to take matters into her own hands and remortgaged her home to transform a derelict council building in Middlesex, West London, into Hillingdon Manor School.

The school is now a centre of excellence for children and young adults with autism and her expertise in the field can be shared around the globe thanks to her website Annakennedyonline.com.

A string of celebrities were overwhelmed recently at the first ever performance of Autism's Got Talent, staged to a packed house at the Mermaid Theatre.

Esther Rantzan, singer song writer Lynsey De Paul, the voice of Britain's Got Talent Peter Dickinson and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow were among a 300-strong audience who were amazed by the talent of young performers who live with autism.

Anna said: "A good show demands a great line up of talent and the young people smashed it on the night. It was a proud night for me, parents and families with lots of tears, laughter and fun. We can't wait to stage it again next year and are looking for talent now."