Friday 9 December 2016

Amir Khan delivers aid to refugees on Greek island

Published 20/09/2015 | 00:10

Amir Khan with boxes of aid at his academy in Bolton, Greater Manchester
Amir Khan with boxes of aid at his academy in Bolton, Greater Manchester

Champion boxer Amir Khan has spent an emotional weekend delivering aid to refugees and migrants trapped on the Greek island of Lesbos.

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In a series of video messages released to his fans, the fighter is seen surrounded by children handing out food, water and sleeping supplies to families fleeing Syria.

The footage, sent out on social media video app SnapChat, shows the 28-year-old from Bolton visiting a refugee camp and watching a boat crammed with migrants and refugees arrive on the island.

In one clip the 28-year-old father-of-one is heard saying "Do we have anything for her? Any sweets?" as he attempts to comfort a crying child.

In another he says to the camera: "We've just left the camp in Lesbos, it's sad to see so many people who need our help.

"One thing I can say is they are all smiling, all getting on with life but deep inside you can see they are upset."

Khan said his trip was sparked by the image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up on a beach in a fatal attempt to make it across to the island.

He is leading a joint campaign with the Penny Appeal and the Amir Khan Foundation which has seen a convoy of volunteer-driven vans leaving from his boxing academy in Bolton to travel to the island.

Lesbos has been overwhelmed by daily arrivals of migrants and refugees who are coming from Turkey on the latest leg of a difficult and dangerous journey to reach Europe.

Many are left trapped on the island while they wait days or weeks for their temporary travel documents to be granted before they can travel on to Athens and further north to wealthier EU countries.

Press Association

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