The Arsenal Foundation held its annual flagship fundraiser at Emirates Stadium on Thursday night, raising over £200,000 to support projects that help young people to fulfill their potential.
Arsène Wenger and the first-team squad attended the event, alongside Arsenal Foundation ambassador Robert Pires and newly-retired legendary jockey and Arsenal fan AP McCoy. Representatives of the clubs global charity partner, Save the Children, and other organisations the Foundation supports were also present.
Titled A Night to Inspire, the evening celebrated the thousands of young people who have benefited from the support of The Arsenal Foundation and its partners.
Among these young people, was lifelong Arsenal fan Victor. A refugee from Sierra Leone, Victor arrived in London in 2010 in extremely difficult circumstances and has since transformed his life with the backing of the Arsenal Foundation-supported charity, Freedom from Torture. Working with the charity, Arsenal in the Community coaches support the survivors of torture through therapeutic football sessions and English classes.
Speaking about the event, Arsenal chief executive and Arsenal Foundation trustee Ivan Gazidis, said: “The night was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the many individuals who the Arsenal Foundation and our charity partners work to support.
“The stories of what many young people have been able to achieve with our backing have been incredibly inspiring. I am proud that as a football club, we are able to make a meaningful difference in this way, and I would like to thank all of our guests for their generosity and support in helping us do even more.”
Guests enjoyed a dinner designed by Raymond Blanc and an intimate performance from platinum-selling singer-songwriter Passenger.
A live auction raised in excess of £43,000 and the silent auction raised a fantastic total of £65,000. Lots included dinner with the Arsenal manager and a private training session with Santi Cazorla, which raised £11,000 through generous bidding by Foo Fighters lead guitarist, Chris Shiflett.
The Arsenal Boot Room added a further £5,000 to the fundraising total, with guests given the chance to purchase players boots.
Adding to a special night for the club and its partners, Kieran Gibbs, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin announced The Arsenal Foundation had raised a total of £1 million for Save the Children by appearing
And yes the tall chap at the start of the film is Abou Diaby!
Bravo Arsenal, Bravo The Arsenal Foundation and Bravo the Arsenal players and guests making us proud.
Thanks to Arsenal Media for asking Gunners Town to spread the word and credit to Arsenal and Stuart Macfarlane for allowing us to use the great photos of a fabulous event.
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.