A Saints star will support the charity set up in memory of a girl who died from cancer aged just five during his testimonial year.
Paul Diggin has been part of the Saints set-up since joining the club in 2003 and having shown his loyalty to the county club over the last decade, he is keeping it local with the charity for his testimonial season.
Diggin has decided that money from a variety of fundraising events during the season, including his testimonial match, will go to Niamh’s Next Step, the charity set up in memory of Niamh Curry from Wellingborough.
The youngster lost her 18-month battle with neuroblastoma at the age of just five.
Neuroblastoma is an aggressive cancer which mainly affects children.
In the UK each year about 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma, of which only about 30 per cent will survive.
Niamh’s dad, Chris, went to the testimonial launch last week and said: “It means the world to us for Paul to have chosen us as a small local charity.
“Obviously the money that Paul and his testimonial will raise for us is great, but what is most important is raising awareness around the county.”
Mr Curry, who used to play rugby himself, said: “It should be an amazing season.
“Paul is a genuinely nice guy, and for him to get involved is brilliant.
“It’s been really good to work with Paul.”
However, Diggin is not the first member of the Saints team to support Niamh’s Next Step.
Team-mates Ben Foden and Lee Dickson are patrons of the charity, alongside other celebrities including former England cricket star Darren Gough, singer Shane Filan and boxer Peter Mcdonagh.
On his testimonial website, Diggin explains why he chose the charity and said: “When choosing my testimonial charity I thought I would go down the route of supporting a local charity.
“Often local charities are overlooked in favour of larger, more well-known charities.
“After speaking to Lee Dickson, he told me about Niamh’s Next Step, a local charity that would be grateful of the support of my testimonial year.
“Hopefully all the loyal Saints fans will join me in supporting this very deserved local charity throughout my testimonial year and beyond.
“Please donate and help us help other families during the toughest fight of their lives.
“In memory of an amazing little girl Niamh.”
For more details about the testimonial and events during the season, visit www.diggertestimonial.com or follow @DiggersDecade on Twitter.