Manchester City’s Ilkay Gündogan has stepped in to help local hospitality during its time of need – launching an online auction to generate vital extra funds for the sector.
The midfielder is inviting sports fans to bid on a selection of prizes – such as Meet & Greets, match-worn shirts and signed boots – with all funds raised going towards helping Manchester’s cafes and restaurants.
The footballer, now in his fifth season at the Etihad, announced the fundraiser on Wednesday (January 28) evening.
He stated: “Over the last few years I spent a lot of time in the city’s many wonderful cafés and restaurants.
“During this time, I have met so many great people who tell me how difficult the situation has become for them in the last weeks and months due to the lockdown.
“I want to use the initiative to support people during this challenging time and at the same time offer fans the opportunity to buy something special at auction.”
Various items will be available to bid on until late spring 2021 – with Gündogan revealing there will be “many more to come” in the weeks ahead.
Greater Manchester Nighttime Economy Adviser Sacha Lord called the gesture “absolutely incredible”.
“Yet again, a Manchester footballer coming to the rescue and helping a sector on its knees. Inspiring both on and off the field,” he stated.
“A City United.”
German international Gündogan swapped Dortmund for Manchester back in 2016 – becoming manager Pep Guardiola’s first City signing for an estimated fee of £20 million.
The midfielder has since gone on to make 116 Premier League appearances for the blues, scoring 22 goals.
View the live auction online here.