England Footballer Makes Flying Visit
Monday, 12 November 2007
Everton and England footballer Phil Neville made a flying helicopter visit to Bolton School to thank pupils for taking part in a schools' fundraising campaign in aid of The New Children's Hospital Appeal.
Fifty schools across the North West took part in Not Bothered Day on Wednesday 14 November 2007 - an event in which pupils were encouraged to pay £1 in return for being able to ditch their uniform for the day!
All schools that registered were entered into a draw to become one of five schools to receive a flying visit from the footballer, who along with his wife Julie, is a patron of the Appeal.
Phil and Julie flew into the School in an Agusta 109 Grand helicopter and were met by Senior Boys' School Headmaster, Mr Brooker and cheering pupils. Phil Neville commented, "Now I know what it feels like to be David Beckham." The Nevilles were presented with a cheque for £1,600 from pupils from Beech House, Junior Girls and Junior Boys as well as representatives of the boys' and girls' sixth forms.
Mr Brooker, who compered the event, said: "Bolton School is delighted to support the New Children's Hospital Appeal. We have supported this charity in the past and we shall continue to do so in the future. We have a long tradition of charity work and fundraising and it is a central part of our ethos that pupils engage with the real world and learn how to make a positive contribution to society. I am sure they will enjoy grilling Phil Neville too!"
Pupils from years 1, 2, 5 and 6, along with representatives from the school's charity committee got a unique opportunity to pose quick fire questions to the football star, following a talk from Julie Neville about how, by making the effort to join Not Bothered day, they had helped The New Children's Hospital Appeal. Phil Neville answered all his questions very openly, citing his brother and Paul Scholes as his best friends in football. He talked about his pride in pulling on an England shirt and he looked back upon the European Champions Final in 1999 as the most exciting game of his career.
The New Children's Hospital Appeal aims to raise £20 million to provide the new children's hospital with state-of-the-art equipment to help doctors provide patients with the very best in diagnosis and care. The Appeal also aims to provide parental accommodation facilities so that parents can stay close to their child during treatment.
Phil and Julie became patrons of The New Children's Hospital Appeal after doctors at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester, saved the life of their baby daughter Isabella when she was born 10 weeks prematurely.
Julie said: "Isabella spent her first eight weeks in hospital and due to the lack of parental accommodation we were unable to stay with her each night. We are supporting this Appeal to ensure that, when the new children's hospital opens in 2009, parents will be able to stay with their child whilst they are undergoing treatment."
She continued: "The facilities provided by the money raised will make a huge difference to families going through the most traumatic period of their lives - spending time with their sick child in hospital. It is impossible to explain to anybody unless they have been through it themselves how heartbreaking it is to have a sick child. But if you can be near them and stay on site with them while they are undergoing treatment it can make a terrible situation almost bearable."