Arsenal and England forward Bukayo Saka has been working with charity BigShoe, funding over 120 crucial operations for children in Nigeria.
The 21-year-old has helped BigShoe organise the operations on problems including brain tumours and inguinal hernias in Nigeria’s second largest city, Kano.
‘I feel blessed to be in a position where I can contribute to making the children’s lives easier and better through these surgeries,’ he said.
‘I still feel very connected to Nigeria. For me, it is very important to use my abilities to have a positive impact where I can and I have to say a big thank you to the whole BigShoe team for making this possible.
For me it is important that every child has the same opportunity to achieve their dreams.
If I can do anything to help then I really want to do this, it was very important to me. It makes me happy when I can see the kids happy and their parents happy.
‘I want to do more and more and help as many children as I can.’
Saka was born and raised in England but could have represented Nigeria at international level, with both parents growing up in the African country.
‘I feel like I’m really, really proud of my Nigerian heritage,’ Saka told Sky Sports back in 2020.
‘I always still watch Nigeria’s games where I can and I wish them all the best and support them all the way.
‘But I’ve seen the process of how England are transforming and I think in the future they’re going to do great stuff. I feel like it was right for me to choose England.
‘My dad was born here, my mum was born in Nigeria, but they both grew up in Nigeria and met each other in Nigeria.
‘They came over and when they came to England it wasn’t easy for them because obviously it’s a new country. It’s really cold for them! ‘But they adapted well, and as soon as they had me and my brother they always left everything out the way and put us first.’