Man Utd hero Sir Alex Ferguson helps Liverpool legend fight ‘cruellest’ disease with £20k donation

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Graeme Souness said he hoped not to embarras Sir Alex Ferguson by revealing the huge sum of money he had pledged to help fight EB.

A generous Sir Alex Ferguson proved he had a 'heart of gold' with a hugely-generous charitable act moving Liverpool and Newcastle United legend Graeme Souness to tears live on air.

The former Manchester United boss donated a massive £20,000 to Souness' English Channel swim fundraiser for charity Debra, which supports those with rare skin disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

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Souness told talkSPORT: “I hope I don’t embarrass him by saying this, but Alex Ferguson donated £20,000 after he quizzed me on it for half an hour. He’s got a heart of gold, that man. You have to search for it, but it’s there!”

The ex-Liverpool league title winner struggled to hold back the tears as he thought about Ferguson's donation and what it would mean for the charity which he holds dear to his heart. Souness decided to swim the English Channel alongside five friends including the father of young EB sufferer Isla Girst after developing a close friendship with the 14-year-old.

When announcing the English Channel swim, which the group completed in 12 hours and 17 minutes, the football star told BBC Breakfast how he had become so impassioned by the cause.

A choked-up Souness said: "Isla is the most unique human being I ever met, and she does this to me every time [make emotional], she's an inspiration to me even at my age.

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"Football does its bit for charity. Players are much maligned, much criticised, but football does its bit. Throughout my life, I've had the good fortune to spend time with people who have not been very well. I knew nothing about this disease. This disease is the cruellest."

Sir Alex Ferguson donated £20,000 to Graeme Souness’ Channel swim (Image: Getty Images)Sir Alex Ferguson donated £20,000 to Graeme Souness’ Channel swim (Image: Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson donated £20,000 to Graeme Souness’ Channel swim (Image: Getty Images) | Manchester United via Getty Imag

The star, with tissue in hand, then had to take a moment to compose himself as he struggled to speak while overcome with emotion. He continued: "Excuse me, I knew this would happen. It's the cruellest, nastiest disease out there that I know of.

"For someone so young to be so brave, Isla is aware of the impact this has on her mum and dad and she helps them. This is a very special young lady you're in the company of and she gets me in tears every time I'm in her company."

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