Former Midfielder Visits Brian House
Former Blackpool midfielder Keith Southern paid a visit to Brian House Children's Hospice this week to fulfill a testimonial promise.
The 32-year-old, who is now playing his football with Huddersfield Town, revealed back in August that proceeds from his farewell game against Everton would go to two charities.
Now that the football season is over, Southern returned to the Fylde coast on Tuesday and presented staff at Brian House with a cheque for £5,000.
"I made a commitment when the testimonial came about because I was humbled and proud that the club gave me a testimonial, and I was delighted that so many fans turned up for it," Southern said. "I decided with my family that we would give the proceeds to a couple of good causes, and one of those was Brian House.
"I met some of the staff and children on Tuesday and it was a very humbling experience again. I was pleased to be able to help a little bit."
Keith's decision to donate money to Brian House follows several seasons visiting the facility with the rest of the Blackpool squad.
"I spent 10 fantastic years at Blackpool and although I didn't live in the area, the club had a strong link with Brian House and every Christmas we used to go down with gifts and calendars. I was pretty emotional when I first went around three or four years ago because it was around the time that our first little boy was being born.
"I always said that if I could help then I would in some way. It's vital for the area that funds continue to come in to help care for the children and their families."
This time around Keith was accompanied on his visit by his wife Shellmar and two little boys, Ryan and Anton.
"My wife hadn't been before and some of the technology that they have to cater for the children is really innovative," he admitted. "My wife and children were with me and it was a really proud moment for all of us because the most important thing in life is the health and happiness of your children. It's heartbreaking to see children that need round-the-clock care and treatment so I was delighted to help in any way I could."
Natalie Bromley, Fundraiser at Brian House Children’s Hospice, added: “The ongoing support of Blackpool FC is very important to us and we were very happy to welcome Keith and his lovely family to Brian House Children’s Hospice. We want to say a heartfelt thank-you to them for their generosity. Donations such as this go a long way and mean a great deal to us, and to the 80 local families we support.
“Keith was generous with his time as well, happily posing for photos with our youngsters, chatting to staff and taking a short tour of both Brian House and Trinity Hospice. His kind donation and his interest in the work we do has really touched us, and we are very grateful."
Southern is now looking to donate the remaining funds from his testimonial to a testicular cancer charity, following some careful consideration.
"With the help of Glenn Bowley and BSA we're looking at different charities that are out there and are local to the Preston and Blackpool area, and which have helped me over the last few years. I just want to find the right area where I can put the money," he added.