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Former Spurs captain Gary Mabbutt hails the work of the Willow Foundation and Bob and Megs Wilson after London Football Awards 2018

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:07 06 March 2018

Gary Mabbutt arriving at the London Football Awards 2018 on March 1, in aid of national charity, Willow (pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).

Gary Mabbutt arriving at the London Football Awards 2018 on March 1, in aid of national charity, Willow (pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

The 56-year-old Mabbutt revealed his close friendship with the Arsenal great Bob Wilson, who lost his daughter Anna to cancer in 1998

Bob Wilson arriving at the London Football Awards 2018 on March 1, in aid of national charity, Willow (pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).Bob Wilson arriving at the London Football Awards 2018 on March 1, in aid of national charity, Willow (pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).

Tottenham Hotspur legend Gary Mabbutt paid tribute to Arsenal great Bob Wilson and his wife Meg after last Thursday’s London Football Awards at Battersea Evolution.

The London Football Awards, sponsored by Toscafund, raises funds for the Willow Foundation – the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable ‘Special Days’.

Bob and Megs Wilson founded the charity in 1999 as a lasting memorial to their daughter Anna, who died of cancer aged 31.

To date, Willow has created more than 14,500 Special Days for seriously ill young adults and funds raised from last Thursday’s (March 1) event will help create more Special Days.

Spurs star Harry Kane picked up Premier League Player of the Year, which was sponsored by Toscafund, while Football Manager sponsored Manager of the Year went to Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal and West Ham man Ian Wright won this year’s Outstanding Contribution to London Football, which was sponsored by Weston Homes.

EFL Player of the Year (sponsored by Corney & Barrow) went to Fulham teen Ryan Sessegnon, he also claimed Young Player of the Year, which Zeus sponsor, and Brentford’s Daniel Bentley got his hands on Goalkeeper of the Year – sponsored by Frogmore.

Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs secured Women’s Player of the Year, which Coutts sponsor, and QPR in the Community Trust won Community Project of the Year, sponsored by the FA, for their #Game4Grenfell charity match.

Jordan Nobbs arriving at the London Football Awards 2018 on March 1, in aid of national charity, Willow (pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).Jordan Nobbs arriving at the London Football Awards 2018 on March 1, in aid of national charity, Willow (pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images).

Mabbutt hailed the work of the Willow Foundation and former Gunners goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife Megs afterwards.

“I’ve been coming to this event since it started and I’ve been an ambassador for the Willow Foundation since its conception in 1999, so Bob and Megs have been very good friends of mine for nearly 40 years now,” said ex-Spurs skipper Mabbutt.

“I spent some quality time with their daughter Anna, who the foundation is in memory of, because in my youth I was going out with a young lady who was Anna’s best friend, so we spent a lot of good time together.

“Then of course it was very sad that in 1998 Anna passed away, but Bob and Megs started this foundation to try and remember her and do something that Anna would have been proud of.

“The work they are doing by giving seriously ill young adults the opportunity to have special days with their families, when they are going through tough times, is something Anna would have absolutely loved.

“I think the great thing about this event is Bob’s a gentlemen and the football community come out every year to support him and to support the foundation and I’ve been coming since it started and it gets better every year.”

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