Premier League football star Vincent Kompany will donate proceeds from his testimonial season to tackle rough sleeping in Manchester.
The Manchester City defender has teamed up with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, to launch fundraising campaign Tackle4MCR.
Mr Burnham has pledged to end the need for rough sleeping in the city region by 2020 and on his first day in office he set up the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, and donates 15% of his salary every month.
Speaking at the launch night on Wednesday, Kompany said: “I’ve received much from Manchester – a great career at the highest level, unconditional support from the fans through thick and thin, a lovely family and so much more to be grateful for.
“Over the past decade I’ve been lucky to have witnessed and played a part in Manchester City’s rise as a club and a brand. This has also run parallel alongside the rise of a whole region.
“However, with this spectacular rise comes a very visible downside. More and more people are left out of and have no access to the benefits of the rapid development, often leaving them no choice but to end up on the streets.
“And this is why our mayor Andy Burnham and I have launched Tackle4MCR, a movement that will stand on its own feet and one that can be successful, if everyone plays a part.”
The fundraising drive will culminate in the Belgian international’s testimonial gala match at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season.
Mr Burnham said he was “very proud” to link up with Kompany.
He said: “After an outstanding decade where he has led Manchester City to the heights of the footballing world, Vincent has now decided to dedicate his testimonial year to helping those most at need in our city.
“In Greater Manchester we want to provide a bed for every rough sleeper every night of the week over this coming winter. This will not be an easy task but we believe this is the best way to help people off the streets and, crucially, also give people access to the support they need.
“This unprecedented scheme will come at a significant extra cost and Tackle4MCR can play a huge part in making this plan into a reality – but only with the generosity and support of people from across Greater Manchester.
“In his famous poem, Tony Walsh told us that ‘Some are born here, some drawn here, but all call it home’. Those words are personified by Vincent Kompany and his desire, through Tackle4MCR, to give back to this city that he now calls home.”