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Rio Ferdinand donates £500,000 of toys in time for Christmas

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has become a real-life Santa Claus - donating a massive £500,000 worth of toys in a bid to prevent any children going without a present on Christmas Day.

Former Reds captain Rio has made the stunning donation on behalf of himself and his Manchester restaurant Rosso to Key 103’s Cash for Kids campaign.

Rio Ferdinand is bringing festive cheer to thousands of children in the North West Credit: MEN syndication

Father-of-three Rio made the donation after seeing first hand the good work of the Manchester radio station’s charity. He said he couldn't bear to think of any child going without a Christmas present.

The donation was made last week - with a huge pile of children's toys making their way to the Mission Christmas warehouse, where they will now be distributed to children in need.

Rio Ferdinand Credit: PA

As a father myself I couldn’t see children going without opening a present this Christmas Day. Me and the guys at Rosso have seen what's been going on in the city, and with obviously it being Christmas we know there are a lot of people less fortunate than we are so we've decided to donate £500,000 worth of toys and gifts. But Manchester has got to get behind what we are doing, everyone can get involved and donate what they can.

– Rio Ferdinand
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Ferdinand reflects on his days as West Ham apprentice

National Apprentice Week, which started today, is designed to highlight the positive impact apprentices can have on individuals, on business and on the economy.

This is a fact not lost on Rio Ferdinand, who still remembers his early days as an apprentice at West Ham.

Ferdinand said:

"Cleaning boots, cleaning the shower, cleaning the first team changing rooms, and getting a grilling from the senior players if you didn't clean the boots properly....

"It gives you a good grounding and it's a good place to start so you appreciate things a bit more when you do well and enjoy your career."

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