NEWCASTLE fans’ favourite Allan Saint-Maximin has donated more than 60 care packages to “the real heroes” – the NHS.
The French winger says he gets “warmly applauded” at matches but now “I wanted to be the one who’s applauding”.
The 24-year-old asked the Magpies Foundation to help deliver the packages to NHS staff as they continue to treat coronavirus patients a year after the UK’S first lockdown.
Saint-Maximin told his club website: “We are in an incredibly fortunate situation as footballers as we know we are very privileged.
“The work the NHS staff and key workers at places like foodbanks have been doing here is inspirational and it makes you want to help as much as possible.
“I would like to thank everyone for all of their amazing work and to celebrate the real heroes of my city.
“These guys are all incredible and they are doing a wonderful job.”
The packages include High Street gift cards and luxury chocolates, plus his own note dedicated to the city’s NHS workers.
In it, the 2019 signing from Nice wrote: “To our real heroes.
“Game after game, I am fortunate to be warmly applauded by people from Newcastle!
“But this time I wanted to be the one who’s applauding, I wanted to applaud you, the best team of my city, the hospital medical staff of Newcastle!
“I have great respect for what you did! Thank you for being there for us, Allan SAINT-MAXIMIN.”
The Newcastle United Foundation already has local NHS links via charity work supporting young cancer patients and chronic illness sufferers.
And Saint-Maximin had met staff and volunteers at Newcastle’s West End Foodbank even before the Covid-19 pandemic – to learn about their work and who they help.
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Dame Jackie Daniel, said: “These care packages are a lovely gesture from Allan Saint-Maximin and our thanks go to him and to Newcastle United Foundation, whose incredible work makes such a difference in local communities.”
And Steve Beharall, Head of the Magpies’ own foundation, said: “This donation is a great gesture from Allan.
“We’re delighted we can help him distribute the gifts safely and to key workers in our community who deserve so much thanks for their hard work over the last 12 months.”