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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Celebs and sports stars back auction in aid of disabled youngster

A meeting between boxing star Amir Khan and a disabled Cumbrian youngster had to be cancelled – after the birth of the sports star’s daughter.

Noah Wall photo
From left, Rob Wall, son Noah, Stuart Howarth and Michelle Wall

But the ex-world champion did his best to make it up to little Noah Wall by donating and signing one of his own sparring gloves.

Khan’s manager even presented two-year-old Noah, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, with a small pair of boxing gloves signed especially for him.

The sparring glove is the latest celebrity donation towards the annual #hugsfornoah eBay auction.

Businesses large and small donate items to auction for the charity, which raises money to help fund basic equipment needed by the Abbeytown youngster to ensure his daily life is as comfortable as possible.

Noah’s family has been actively campaigning since his birth to raise awareness of the importance of taking folic acid three months before falling pregnant to help prevent spina bifida.

His smiley face captures the hearts of everyone he meets, as is evident by the list of auction items already amassed by his parents Michelle and Rob Wall.

“We were down in Manchester and due to meet Amir, but his wife gave birth to their little girl in the early hours of that morning,” Michelle said.

“We did meet another UK champion, Scott Quigg, who donated signed stuff and a cage fighter who has also signed items for us.”

A signed Beverley Knight album, vouchers from Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis and a dress once worn by Imogen Thomas have all been donated already.

The Mysterious Girl singer and reality television star Peter Andre has also made his own pledge – he will sign and dedicate a photograph of himself to whoever wins the auction lot.

Michelle added: “It is not just big companies – I want to encourage and support small businesses, so we have smaller lots like acandle which people can also bid for.”

The auction will go live on the website at the end of May. To find the lots, search for #hugsfornoah

The auction will run throughout June, which has become an annual month of fundraising, culminating on June 27 with a black tie gala ball at Armathwaite Hall. Duncan Bannatyne has already revealed he will be attending, while the guest speaker will be Stuart Howarth.

Stuart has cancer and was given six months to live in 2011. Since then he has got to know the Wall family and is a big supporter of #hugsfornoah – the visit to Manchester and signed goods were arranged by him.

Tickets for the gala have already sold out, but Michelle is still desperately appealing for companies to donate items to go in the goody bags.

“We have 60 gents’ and 60 ladies’ bags all made up,” she said, “but we need items to go inside. I know it is a big ask, but we will also promote their Twitter handles and include their business cards.”

If you can help, visit hugsfornoah.co.uk or tweet @ShelliBobbins

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