Saturday 16 December 2017

Hector Bellerin pledges £50 to Grenfell Tower victims for every minute he plays at European Under-21 Championship

His country, Spain, are strong favourites to win the tournament.

By Kameron Virk

Arsenal’s young defender Hector Bellerin is providing a financial contribution to help the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

A blaze ripped through the 24-storey building in north Kensington on Wednesday morning, and the community came together in the immediate aftermath to provide food, water, clothes and shelter to those who needed it.

So far more than £3 million has been raised for the victims of the fire, and the 22-year-old has pledged to donate £50 for every minute he plays during the European Under-21 Championship.

The donations will be sent to the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation, which has so far raised over £1.4 million.

Fifty-eight people are missing and presumed dead in the Grenfell Tower disaster, the officer in charge of the investigation said. Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy warned that the death toll could still rise further.

The Spanish defender has been praised for his contribution, and as the under-21s’ first-choice right-back he could raise a lot.

Spain play their first game on Saturday, which will be followed by two more group games – and no doubt Bellerin’s pledge will have many non-Spaniards hoping his team make it as far in the competition as possible.

The strong squad are favourites to win the competition for a third time in six years, having claimed the Euro titles in 2011 and 2013, and if Bellerin plays every minute of all five games until the final he’ll raise £22,500.

England winger Raheem Sterling – who grew up in north-west London and began his career at QPR, and whose ground is around a mile from Grenfell Tower – also pledged a financial donation to help those affected.

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The 22-year-old told BBC Sport: “This is a deep and sad situation, one that’s close to my heart and hard to swallow. I would like to help in the best way I can.

“It is only a small step, but small steps lead to big changes if we all come together.

“My condolences to the affected families, also the individuals who lost their homes.”

Press Association

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