McGrath helps set record

Aston Villa legend Paul McGrath returned to the ground on Saturday to raise funds for the Acorns children’s hospice.

Paul McGrath with Elinor Eustace of Acorns

Paul McGrath with Elinor Eustace of Acorns

Paul McGrath’s return to Villa Park last Saturday in an attempt set a record for the highest amount of money raised by football fans during a Premier League match has generated a final total of £7,500 for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

The Villa legend took to the pitch at half-time of the game against Newcastle to ask the crowd to use the first ever free text donation service, JustTextGiving by Vodafone. Every penny donated went directly to the charity and the service also allowed people to claim Gift Aid to increase their donation and help Acorns raise even more money.

Elinor Eustace, corporate partnerships manager for Acorns said: “This is a fantastic amount – enough to run a ten-bed hospice, providing care and support for local life-limited children, for a day.

“It was so exciting to be part of setting a record and to see the crowd’s reaction to Paul McGrath being back at Villa Park.

“He received such a warm welcome and the fans responded to his request so generously. On behalf of everyone at Acorns, I’d like to give a big thank you to Paul and Aston Villa for making it possible and to everyone who donated on the day.”

Paul McGrath added: “‘I was blown away by the reception I got from the fans at Villa Park and want to thank them all for welcoming me back and supporting such a great cause”

It costs over £8 million a year to run Acorns three hospices, currently caring for over 600 children and the charity relies on voluntary donations for over 70% of its income. For further information visit