Sheffield Wednesday captain Reda Johnson has donated £5,000 to help the children at a Sheffield school.
The Owls skipper has made the donation to Norfolk Park School for youngsters with special needs.
It will provide half the cost of a computer system called Magic Carpet which projects images onto floors and walls.
Reda, known as Hillsborough’s genial giant, is also being credited with making a special impact on a seven-year-old pupil, Sophie Hind-Marsh, who suffers from locked-in syndrome and could only move her eyes until the footballer paid a visit: then she began to smile.
Said the Owls captain: “When I see her, she is always smiling. I didn’t know she wasn’t like that when I wasn’t with her.”
He was only too pleased to make his gift to the school.
He told The Star: “I think people have to help. If God gives me a chance to help people, why not?
“It helps to make Sophie and the other children more comfortable. It’s good. I hope we can do more.
“It’s important for my life, the way I am, to give to people, because football has given me a lot.
“These children really need help.”
A Benin international player, Reda said he was also conscious of problems in Africa.
“I don’t say we have to help people only in Africa; I help there when I go to Benin. I help here if I can; people need help everywhere in the world.”
Reda, aged 25, returned to the Owls team on Saturday and helped them to notch up their first away win of the season, 1-0 at Watford.
Sheffield Wednesday have launched a new project which sees club representatives deliver PE lessons to pupils at Norfolk Park School.
The launch was attended by the club’s community mascot, Ozzy the Owl, and Reda Johnson and a special assembley was held.
The children sang football songs and presented a cake to Reda.