Celebrity and local legend, Dickie Bird OBE, has shown his support to Barnsley Hospital Charity’s Tiny Hearts Appeal by donating to the cause for a second time.

Following on from his generous donation last year, Dickie has made another huge £35,000 donation to the cause taking the appeal past the £500,000 half way point.

The legendary former cricket umpire, Harold Dennis “Dickie” Bird OBE, was born in Barnsley and is a much loved celebrity in the local area and beyond. Dickie has chosen to back the Tiny Hearts Appeal for a second year running and his donation will be a giant step forward for the appeal meeting the target of £1million.

The Tiny Hearts Appeal was launched to support the development of a brand new, state of the art neonatal unit for babies who need special care. The unit will be situated alongside the Barnsley Birthing Centre which means that the babies will not have to be exposed to different environments and different temperature changes, nor will they have to be taken into an elevator.

Barnsley Hospital Charity’s Chairman, Steve Wragg, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Dickie Bird OBE has chosen to support our Tiny Hearts Appeal again.

“We are extremely grateful for Dickie’s second, very generous donation of £35,000. This money has taken the Tiny Heart’s Appeal running total past the half way mark of £500,000 which is absolutely fantastic!”

Dickie said of his donation: “I am delighted and honoured to be involved with Barnsley Hospital Charity’s Tiny Hearts Appeal.  Barnsley is my home town and the appeal is raising money for a tremendous cause for the people here. I have been and visited the ward and seen for myself the great work of the staff caring for the premature babies and I felt very humbled – it brought a lump in my throat and a tear to my eye.

“I sincerely hope that everyone will put their hands in their pockets to support this worthy cause and I’m sure it  will give people the same sense of pride as I feel to be involved in this. If everyone in Barnsley donated just £1, it would be a massive boost to the appeal, taking us towards the £1million target.”

Dickie presented his donation to Barnsley Hospital Charity and staff from the neonatal unit at a special cheque presentation ceremony which took place at Barnsley Hospital on Thursday 26 March.