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'This will be a Godsend...' says Dec after opening new accommodation at the Freeman Hospital

After opening new accommodation at the Freeman Hospital, alongside Alan Shearer, Declan Donnelly, from celebrity duo Ant & Dec said the opportunity for families to be able to stay with their children during their heart operations 'at a really incredibly stressful time' would be 'a Godsend'.

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Shearer says Newcastle players need to 'stand up and perform'

Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer says the club's current crop of players need to 'stand up and perform' to relieve the pressure on manager Alan Pardew.

The Magpies are yet to win a Premier League match this season and are currently 18th in the table after seven games played.

Shearer was speaking at the National Football Museum in Manchester after being inducted into the Football Association's Hall of Fame.

Ant & Dec and Alan Shearer opening new accommodation at the Freeman Hospital

Ant & Dec with Alan Shearer after his Testimonial match in 2006. Credit: PA

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (Ant & Dec) are opening brand new family accommodation for families of child heart patients at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The celebrity presenters and Newcastle United legend are unveiling Scott House, a £1.85mil ‘Home for Home’, as part of their work for the The Sick Children's Trust and Children's Heart Unit Fund (CHUF), where they are patrons.

Alan Shearer with 7-year-old Sadie Metin at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. Credit: PA

The free accommodation hopes to give emotional, as well as practical support for families through en-suite rooms and a self-contained flat for families with children who have undergone a heart transplant.

The Sick Children's Trust was founded in 1982 by two paediatric specialists Dr Jon Pritchard and Professor James Malpas, who believed that having parents on hand during hospital treatment benefited a child's recovery.

Shearer offers support to Gazza after latest setback

Alan Shearer has offered his support to former England footballer Paul Gascoigne after his latest battle with alcoholism.

Gascoigne was admitted to Poole Hospital this week after paramedics were called to his home in Dorset.

Shearer said:

He's having a tough time at the minute. I hope he doesn't give up. I hope he keeps on fighting.

– Alan Shearer
  1. Phil Roscoe

Ex-footballer aims to raise £1m with Premier League stadium run

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali is hoping to raise more than one million pounds for charity by running between every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old started his 1,000-mile journey from St James' Park in Newcastle this morning. He's due to finish the run at St Mary's Stadium, in Southampton on September 13.

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The moment Benali's Big Run started

This is the moment former Southampton defender Francis Benali started his 'Big Run' between every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old will take around three weeks to complete the challenge and is aiming to raise more than £1 million for cancer research.

Benali was waved off by Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer at St James' Park.

Shearer offers his support to Benali's Big Run

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has backed Francis Benali to complete his 1,000-mile run to every Premier League ground.

Shearer was at St James' Park in Newcastle this morning to support his former Southampton teammate.

Benali is hoping to raise around £1 million for cancer research from his three-week challenge.

Benali's Big Run in pictures

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali has set off on his 1,000-mile charity run to every Premier League ground.

The 45-year-old left St James' Park in Newcastle this morning. Alan Shearer was among the group of people that saw him off.

Crowds gather to support Francis Benali at St James' Park Credit: ITV
Alan Shearer was at St James' Park to offer his support to Benali Credit: ITV
Francis Benali will visit every Premier League ground in the next three weeks Credit: ITV
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