Kanu Nwankwo will be hosting a match in London to raise money for his charity, the Kanu Heart Foundation.
Kanu has organized a one-off charity match between former Premier League stars and African legends in London next month to raise money to build a new cardiac center in the capital, Abuja.
“Since retiring from football, the Kanu Heart Foundation has been my biggest passion. It is amazing to be in a position to have helped over 500 children within and outside Nigeria gain access to vital heart operations, having suffered from heart conditions myself – but I want to do more.
“Thank god I was able to play football again, to start winning trophies,” he says. “But I had these big thoughts about Africa, about the kids there. Life is difficult in Africa, even getting three square meals. How are they going to get money for check-ups, or pay for operations? It is expensive.”
Kanu Heart Foundation have given life-changing treatment to more than 500 children – with another 200 on the waiting list.
“That’s why this match is so important,” Because the more you don’t delay, the more we can raise, the more we can help them. The heart is not something you can keep waiting. We have to act fast.”
Kanu told Standard Sport: “When they have these heart issues these kids don’t smile, don’t play, they are quiet. After the operation, they fly.
“One of them could be the next Kanu, or even the president of the country if we can help them. It’s not about football. It’s about saving lives.
“Imagine going around the world to India for a heart operation. If the child doesn’t have a family or money it’ll be so difficult.
“Believe me, I know what it’s like to have heart problems. You can have an ankle or shoulder injury and in six or eight months you’re healed. But if the heart stops for a few moments that’s it.
The Charity match will be played at The Hive Stadium on Sunday, September 30th, the game will feature stars like Sol Campbell, Robert Pires among other notable stars.