Ivorian striker, Didier Drogba has been honoured with a Barclays Spirit of the Game award for his charity work with the Didier Drogba Foundation in Africa.
Drogba launched his foundation in 2007 with the aim to give financial and material support in health and education to less privileged Africans. He has in recent times donated all of his commercial and sponsorship earnings from endorsements in championing the course of his foundation.
“I come from a poor family where I played football in the streets with my friends with no shoes, there was no grass but we still enjoyed it,” the 37-year-old said.
“I want to do a lot of things in Africa, I want to give people the chance to dream when you are in good health and happy.”
Drogba recently organised a Charity Ball attended by fellow footballers including PFA Footballer of the Year Eden Hazard, his Chelsea team-mate Petr Cech, Thierry Henry and John Terry.
It was the fourth Charity Ball by the Drogba foundation after previous events in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
The money realised will be used to finish a medical clinic project in his hometown Abidjan, as well as finance mobile clinics that will travel outside of the Côte d’Ivoire capital to help those who do not have assess to medical services in their community make the journey to The facility.
The foundation has also reached out to non-governmental projects across Africa, such as The Red Cross in Abidjan, the Page Blanche Institution, Awareness on Aids and provided school books to local schools.
It has also provided funds for orphanages in Grand Bassam and Madame Houphouet-Boigny.
Drogba also hopes to inspire the next generation of footballers in the UK and Africa to fall in love with the game.
“There is nothing better than when you see a kid with a smile on his face and that is why I’m trying to help,” he said.
Barclays are committed to helping the next generation of fans remain dedicated to the game and will continue to offer supporters a chance to win match day tickets to their favourite team every week.