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'Us players forget how privileged we are': Arsenal pride at raising £250k on charity matchday

PUBLISHED: 08:37 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 December 2017

The Arsenal Ball Squad helped raise a separate £1,000 for an Islington charity project, and also helped Gunners legend Robert Pires collect funds for the club's 2017 charity matchday against Newcastle. Picture: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC

The Arsenal Ball Squad helped raise a separate £1,000 for an Islington charity project, and also helped Gunners legend Robert Pires collect funds for the club's 2017 charity matchday against Newcastle. Picture: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC

2017 The Arsenal Football Club Plc

Gunners captain Per Mertesacker was "proud" of his team-mates over the way they embraced Arsenal's annual charity matchday.

Saturday’s 1-0 Emirates win over Newcastle saw the squad and boss Arsene Wenger donate a day’s wages – in total about £250,000 – to the Arsenal Foundation.

The money will be used to benefit community groups, which in the past have included Holloway learning disability charity Centre 404 and Islington Boxing Club in Hornsey Rise. It will also go to pitch refurbs in estates and schools in north London.

And Mertesacker said: “I’m proud of the whole squad.

“Sometimes you tend to forget what a privileged situation you’re in. To be able to give something back, to share these moments with families, with parents, with kids – it’s special.

“You want fans and the local community to feel part of the club and you want the players to embrace the culture of helping. We need to pay attention to the projects the Arsenal Foundation works on.”

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