Family tragedy spurs former Ipswich star Kieron Dyer to donate I’m A Celebrity fee to charity
- Credit: PA
Former Blues star Kieron Dyer has revealed he is donating his fee for I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here to an Ipswich-based charity.
The Jude Brady Foundation helps children across Suffolk for a range of different illnesses, but also aims to highlight the issues surrounding neonatal deaths.
Having announced that he would be joining the hit ITV programme this year, Dyer, 36, broke the news to the charity’s founder Peter Brady on Monday that his fee would go to the good cause.
“He gave us no indication at all,” Mr Brady said. “He is a patron of the charity, and has been for a number of years, doing countless things behind the scenes, but this is one that has hit the headlines.”
Dyer, who won 33 caps for England and played for Newcastle and West ham in his career, met Mr Brady through mutual friend DJ Spoony several years ago and they soon became friends themselves.
Mr Brady added: “Kieron lost his little brother to stillbirth when he was seven, so it is a charity he holds close to his heart.
“When I asked him to become a patron, he said ‘yes’.”
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Dyer, who was born in Ipswich and signed for his hometown club at the age of 17, said he was not doing the show for any sort of recognition – but that his children had begged him to take part.
He added: “I am very competitive. But I am not going on the show for money. My fee is going to a charity. I am doing this show for the charity and my children.
“I see the show can revitalise people’s careers, but if someone in the camp wants to further their career in the media, I would rather they win than me.
“Obviously if I did win, I’d be over the moon, but it’s not the be all and end all.”
Thanks to Mr Dyer’s donation, which so far has not been specified, Mr Brady is hoping to begin the next phase of the charity’s plans, after his and his wife Lynn’s own experiences of losing their baby son Jude in 2006.
He said: “One of the hardest things when we lost Jude when he was stillborn was that we were in the ward, and it was very difficult in a ward that had perfectly healthy babies.
“We tried not to make it difficult for everyone else there.
“A goal that we would like to achieve for a four or five year plan would be to create a ward somewhere if anyone has lost a baby, they can go and deliver it privately.
“That is a long term goal but Kieron’s donation may kick-start that.”
The donation represents a big boost for the cause, which currently turns around between £30,000 and £40,000 a year, which it puts back into helping children, and has previously helped children secure prosthetic limbs and facilitate a specialist ward for St Elizabeth Hospice for paraplegic and quadriplegic children.
Mr Brady concluded: “I would just like to say a massive thank you to Kieron for everything he has done – not just the jungle stuff.
“His donation could launch the charity to a different level, and raise awareness for the 6,500 babies per year that die.”