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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 04:31 GMT 05:31 UK
Charity footballers 'slow to pay'
Noreena Hertz with members of Reading FC
Reading players have teamed up with organiser Dr Noreena Hertz
Premiership footballers who agreed to donate a day's wages to a nurses' hardship fund have coughed up less than a third of the money, organisers say.

Five months ago, 255 players promised to make donations to the May Day for Nurses appeal.

Big names, including Steven Gerrard and Thierry Henry, agreed to participate. More than 750,000 was pledged but just 200,000 has so far been collected.

Organisers have refused to name those who have yet to pay their contribution.

The idea behind the hardship fund was that well-paid footballers would give up a day's pay in order to help hard-up nurses.

The campaign was launched right at the end of the football season so the poor Royal College of Nursing then had to go and track down players and clubs
Campaign organiser Dr Noreena Hertz

Now, in October, with just 200,000 collected, there is no indication as to whether the full amount will turn up.

But appeal organiser Dr Noreena Hertz says she is confident the players will all pay up.

She told BBC News: "The campaign was launched right at the end of the football season so the poor Royal College of Nursing then had to go and track down players and clubs during the holidays and when the clubs were touring."

She said players should be given until Christmas to pay.

Managers, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce, and former players, such as Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Le Saux, are also taking part.

The money raised will go into a fund administered by the Royal College of Nursing and will be distributed to nurses for things like child care or transport to work.

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13 May 07 |  Football

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