Brief description of achievement:
Niall Quinn, the former, Sunderland, Manchester City, Arsenal and Republic of Ireland International footballer, donated his testimonial match proceeds to education projects in Africa and Asia and local hospitals in Dublin and Sunderland, forming the Niall Quinn Children's Charity. His actions have inspired others to give of their good fortune and he has set a precedent for other players to follow suit.
Following a distinguished professional football career Niall Quinn was awarded a testimonial by Sunderland FC, the proceeds of which have traditionally been used to boost pension and retirement funds. However, Niall decided to donate this money to charity instead and set up the Niall Quinn Children's Charity prior to the game being played on 14 May 2002.
The testimonial game, held at The Stadium of Light, Sunderland, raised more than £1 million. Charities that have benefited from Niall Quinn's generosity include City Hospitals Sunderland, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Dublin and GOAL, a humanitarian organisation, one of whose projects was in Calcutta, India. The money was applied to improve the quality of life for impoverished and disadvantaged children in urban areas.
Niall's philanthropy has set a trend among fellow players to also donate their testimonial proceeds to charity including Gary Kelly (£700,000) and Tony Adams.
"This is the first (charity) of its kind to come about as a result of a footballer's benefit match."
Simon Gillespie, Charity Commission's Director of Operations
"Niall's generosity has been well documented, but what this gift means for local children and their families - many of whom are fans of Niall and the club - cannot be overstated. We are delighted at this opportunity to develop a major children's outpatient unit at Sunderland Royal that will be a testament to Niall for many years to come."
Dr Jeff Lawson, Clinical Director of Sunderland Royal Hospital