Helping Save Babies Lives

Libby Mae's Little Angels Ball 2016

Guests at a glitzy black tie ball in Birmingham were left open-mouthed when an England footballer walked into the party midway through dinner wearing a tracksuit and trainers!


Diners in bow ties and ball gowns thought at first a hotel guest had lost his way when the casually dressed gatecrasher walked into the ballroom at the swanky MacDonald Burlington Hotel where guests had paid £65 a head for a sumptuous three course meal.

But the visitor was in fact West Ham United star Michail Antonio who had promised his signed shirt to Charlotte and Richard Sharratt for an auction at the ball in aid of their charity Libby Mae’s Little Angels.

Antonio had driven more than 200 miles after his side’s Premier League clash with Middlesbrough in London to hand over his claret and blue shirt and, after posing for a couple of photographs and briefly meeting some of the ball’s 200 guests, he was off to see partner Debbie and the couple’s three children for the weekend.


Rich and Charlotte set up the charity in 2013 in memory their baby daughter Libby Mae who tragically died aged just two weeks from heart complications

They were both speechless after seeing the West Ham United star walking towards them. Antonio was today called back into the England squad by up caretaker manager Gareth Southgate.

Charlotte said: “We could see everyone looking as a guy in a tracksuit made his way across the ballroom. It took a few minutes to realise it was Michail and it was an absolutely brilliant surprise . I couldn’t believe he’d travelled out of his way to give us the shirt.”

Michail said: “I was going to post it to Richard but hadn’t had chance and knew they wanted it for the auction that night so I thought I’d drop it off after the game

“I left the stadium and dropped into the hotel before carrying on up to see my family in Manchester. It really wasn’t a problem and I was glad I made it before the auction started.”

Richard said the couple had been friends with Michail and his partner Debbie through another footballer and charity ambassador Chris Burke. The pair had played together at Nottingham Forest.

Antonio wasn’t the only famous face to grace the evening. TV reality star of Real Housewives of Cheshire fame Dawn Ward was also among the guests and was so moved by the charity she donated a private dining experience at her home with her fellow cast members which raised £3000.

Meanwhile the shirt went for £200 but the gesture did not go unnoticed. Fans on social media were today full of praise for the footballer for going out of his way for charity.

Tim WHU Fan Dine tweeted: “Fair play to him – not many would do that. Proud that he’s a Hammer- what a guy! ”

Jamprouk on Twitter said “It’s just fantastic that @michailantonio personally drove to drop off his signed shirt for #LMABall2016”

All proceeds from the ball will go towards the charity’s work in equipping new-natal units across the region.



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