Hammers fans praised for generosity

West Ham United fans have been praised for their generosity after Arsenal raised in excess of £22,500 at their charity day, which took place during our 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The North London club dedicated the match against the Hammers to its charity of the season, the Willow Foundation.

The charity, founded by Arsenal legend Bob Wilson and his wife Megs, offers quality of life and quality of time to seriously ill young adults aged 16-40 through the provision of special days.

Events before and during the game included a donation of fifty pence from the sale of each matchday programme, a guard of honour greeting both teams as they took to the pitch by Arsenal Junior Gunners and players from both West Ham and Arsenal wearing Willow Foundation t-shirts as they warmed up.

An Arsenal spokesperson said: "Special thanks go to the fans for donating and the West Ham players for wearing the t-shirts during their pre-match preparation on the pitch. The idea was to raise awareness of the foundation and the response was fantastic."

Various raffles and bucket collections around the ground were well received and Bob Wilson, himself, signed copies of his books, Beyond the Network and Googlies, and Nutmegs and Bogeys (the profits of which go to the Willow Foundation) in Arsenal's megastore.

Bob Wilson said: "It was an enormous honour to be Arsenal's Charity of the Season in such a significant year in the Club's history. The association has opened up a host of opportunities for the Willow Foundation, this matchday being one of them.

"With the tremendous support of the Clubs and the fantastic fans on matchday, we can reach out to more seriously ill young adults throughout the UK, significantly increase awareness of our service and ultimately allow us to fulfil more special days wishes."

For further information on the Willow Foundation, go to www.willowfoundation.org.uk