Page last updated at 07:39 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Hospital handed Owls sponsorship

Marcus Tudgay celebrates his goal on Saturday
Wednesday's move follows similar decisions by Aston Villa and Barcelona

Sheffield Wednesday is donating its shirt sponsorship to the city's children's hospital, it has announced.

The team's players will be seen with the name and logo of The Children's Hospital on their chests instead of a corporate sponsor.

The club and the hospital hope the two-season deal, which starts next season, will raise awareness of the hospital as a charitable cause.

It provides specialist care for children from birth to 16.

Sheffield Wednesday's chairman Lee Strafford said the decision marked a move away from football clubs' obsessions with financial matters, and towards an era of increased social responsibility.

To have our name across the Wednesday shirt will raise awareness of our hospital
Chris Sharratt, hospital chief executive

He said: "We are proud to say loud and clear that Sheffield Wednesday wants to break the current football mould by getting away from the perception that football is just about money.

"Certainly, a commercial shirt sponsorship deal can be very lucrative. However, we feel that there is much more value in supporting an organisation within our city that provides a vital service to people in need, not just to those in our own region but to children across the country."

Chris Sharratt, chief executive of The Children's Hospital Sheffield, said the deal would enable the hospital to help needy children.

He said: "This sponsorship represents an outstanding offer of support by Sheffield Wednesday for the work that the hospital and our charity do and the great many children and their families from all across the country that we see every day.

"To have our name across the Wednesday shirt will raise awareness of our hospital across the country and indeed around the world.

"It also gives us a fantastic opportunity to work together with the club to use the pull of football to introduce exciting health initiatives with children in the communities across the city region."

Other football teams who have already given their shirt sponsorship to charities include Barcelona, which supports Unicef, and Aston Villa, which donated their sponsorship to the Acorn Children's Hospice.

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