Craig Gardner Withdraws £500 From Cash Machine, Pays For Disabled Child’s Equipment

Chris Wright

27th, June 2012


By Chris Wright

Proving that not all footballers are preening, homogenous, self-obsessed man-toddler/magpies, ubiquitously awash with faddy trinkets and vulgar headphones, under-educated and utterly bereft of anything resembling basic cognitive thought, here’s a little yarn to warm the cockles.

While dining with his family at the Selfridge’s department store in Birmingham, Craig Gardner’s young daughter became transfixed – as kids do – by a two-year old lad with special needs named Danyl Brough who was sitting with his family on a nearby table.

Gardner and his wife went over to apologise to the Broughs for his daughters staring and the two families began chatting about Danyl – who suffers from CHARGE syndrome; a rare genetic condition which has left him with a weak heart, deaf, unable to eat solids and suffering from mobility problems.

When Gardner discovered that Danyl was in need a special harness to allow him to sit up straight and that the Brough’s couldn’t afford the expense, the Sunderland midfielder immediately offered to walk over to the cashpoint and withdraw the money as a gift for Danyl.

So said Danyl’s mum, Leanne:

“We were having lunch in Selfridges in Birmingham and Craig was sitting nearby. I didn’t even know who he was at first because I don’t watch football. His little girl was interested in Danyl and we got talking. He asked if there were any charities involved with Danyl’s care and we said that [we weren’t receiving any financial support].

“He immediately said he was going to go to the cash point and get the money, £500, out there and then. We had to tell him not to at least four times before he would listen. He was wonderful. He was so caring. He meant everything he said. We just feel so incredibly lucky.”

Gardner, who later contacted the Broughs and finally convinced them to take the money, said:

“We were in the restaurant and my wife and I were both extremely moved by Danyl’s plight. They are such a lovely family and I thought if there was anything we could do then we should. I wish them all the best and hope the equipment will go some way to making Danyl’s life a little easier.”

Word is that Meryl Streep is already lined up to play Gardner in the movie adaptation. Bravo Sir, bravo!

(Via This Is Staffordshire)

Posted in Sunderland

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  1. Chris Mc says:

    Fair play.

  2. Pkhakheria says:

    good story to start my day with

  3. Reality. says:

    If i couldn’t afford equipment to help my disabled son with his day to day life, i doubt very much if i would be able to have lunch at Selfridges. Them not recieving support and them eating in Selfridges are more than likely related. They never said they couldn’t afford this equipment, just that they weren’t recieving support. Well done Craig, you’ve just given some unfortunate, but well off, parents an insignificant amount of money considering their kids condition and their likely financial position. From the article you would have thought that Gardner was some sort of saint.

  4. usrick says:

    A blessed change of pace from reading about the antics of Balotelli and his ilk.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jesus thanks for putting a downer on a genuinely nice story

  6. plops says:

    As Reality has already mentioned, I was surprised to read they can afford to eat in Selfridges but, not afford a harness so their child doesn’t have to slouch in a chair. GOod to see the parents have their priorities in order.

    Fair play to Gardner all the same though.

  7. Alex Miller says:

    You can’t question the goodwill and human spirit in this story. People are questioning this story because… they will won’t they. These are people who love to question anything. I will say it would have been extra touching if the player was in queue at Greggs and not Selfridges. Helping someone lower down the food chain so to speak. Most families lunching at Selfridges will not need random £500 handouts.

    Just because a family is financially sound doesn’t make their childs suffering any better, or their love for him any better or worse than a poorer family. They can provide in DIFFERENT ways for the poor kid, not always BETTER ways. It shouldn’t matter that this family recieved what they recieved. They have a very hard life raising a child in such discomfort. It’s hard enough raising healthy children.

  8. Kyle says:

    Christ, Reality, ever stop to think that maybe these parents’ have a miserable enough time as it is, what with their child having a rare genetic disease? Have you thought that every day they probably wake up not knowing if their son will live to see the end of the day?

    Maybe, considering their lives are infinitely more stressful than most of us can imagine, they


    Get a grip, it’s not like they have a lifetime membership at the place, they ate there one fucking time.

  9. MGJ says:

    I’m with Reality on this. @Kyle I know what you’re saying with them maybe wanting to have a nice day out etc. but if that were me I’d want nothing more than having my child being able to sit up correctly and would have saved until I got the harness. That would beat ANY meal money could buy. It is entirely correct to question their priorities.
    Take nothing away from Craig though, he has shown to be a thoughtful individual that some footballers could learn from.

  10. JHb says:

    The writer of that article uses the words ‘homogenous’ ‘ubiquitously’ ‘utterly bereft of anything resembling basic cognitive thought’ and ‘under-educated’ in the first paragraph to establish their credentials as superior to the people they are writing about.

    I humbly offer two pieces of advice. Firstly when writing about any handicap it’s probably advisable never to bring in relative – and yet perogative – statements like ‘basic cognitive thought’. Secondly even the most under- educated might be expected to know that you don’t make the word footballer plural by adding an apostrophe before the s.

  11. paulo says:

    good lad craigo…..good lad

  12. plops says:

    @Kyle Maybe they did want “TO ENJOY A NICE MEAL OUT FOR FUCKING ONCE” but if you had kids you might realise your child’s comfort is far, far more important than a nice meal.

    Most parents would eat tramps’ leftovers if it meant their kids could have the best possible life. Being slumped (as it sounds) in a chair for the want of £500 isn’t asking much. There’s lots of places to get great food at 1/2 the price of Selfridges.

  13. M says:

    wow guys way to take a nice gesture story and start arguing about irrelevant facts and miss the point completely. Bravo.

  14. reality sucks says:

    reality you depressing loser get a life

  15. plops says:

    @JHb If you’re going to start nitpicking on grammar, I suggest you manage to write your comment properly. You could start by putting commas after ‘homogenous’ and ‘ubiquitously’. I’d have thought you’d have picked up on correcting the spelling of ‘homogeneous’ too.

    Next you could do with a colon after ‘advice’, followed by spelling ‘prerogative’ correctly. And commas after ‘firstly’ and ‘secondly’ would be nice too.

    You’ve got the right idea using dashes and hyphens differently, although you’ve missed a space in ‘under-educated’ (I’ll let you off that one though, it might be a typo).

    It’s bit tedious correcting spelling/grammar on the internet isn’t it?

  16. James says:

    I thought you could take 250 out maximum at a cash machine……

  17. A white man says:

    The family couldn’t offord a 500 quid piece of equipment but where dining in a selfridges restaurant, somewhere which is obviously pricey. oh lol lol lawl.

  18. Logical Bint says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that the family were “sat at a nearby table”
    Not “were sat enjoying a 10 course meal nearby”
    For all any of you know, they were sat there for a rest, or to give their son something to eat. As he couldn’t eat solids, perhaps they had to feed him via a tube, and they went and sat in Selfridges to do this.
    And before anyone asks why they were in Selfridges in the first place, perhaps they just wanted to have a look around.
    I sure as shit can’t afford to shop there, but I do like to have a nosey about!
    Also, it’s possible that they knew someone who worked there and they were waiting for them. Or maybe they had a gift card given to them for a birthday or something!
    There are a plethora of reasons why these people may have been there, most of which are perfectly reasonable and don’t point to the family having £500 knocking about that they are withholding from their child!
    Some people are so quick to judge.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “I thought you could take 250 out maximum at a cash machine……”

    Really? Obviously your limit depends on your financial position and your account features.

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