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Donation to nurses' appeal blocked

The manager of a Premiership football club has blocked its donation to a nursing charity's fundraising campaign saying it "bordered on blackmail".

The May Day for Nurses hardship fund urged footballers to donate a day's pay to the cause.

However, when figures revealed it had reached just a fifth of its planned £1m target, the charity used its website to highlight those players who had given money.

Middlesbrough FC manager Gareth Southgate said that in doing so it had effectively "named and shamed" players who had not donated.

After initially pledging a donation on behalf of the Teesside club, he has now withdrawn the offer.

And he launched a bitter attack on the organisers of the fund, which was set up to provide help for nurses in financial trouble.

He said: "I am disgusted with the manner in which this campaign has gone about its fundraising.

"Mayday for Nurses is a worthy cause, but there are many others. The players at this club support any number of local and national charities and good causes, either via financial support, giving up their own time or both.

"I think it's outrageous that the campaign's fundraising style has bordered on blackmail, with the message being basically 'give us your money or we'll publicly shame you'. It's a strange way for a charity to act and one that has ensured that, although I had originally intended to make a donation, I have now withdrawn that promise."

Middlesbrough FC

May Day for Nurses

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