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Gymnasts off to Malta - thanks to Phil Collins!

The South Shields youngster and her team-mates, who belong to the City of Newcastle Gymnast Academy, have been raising cash for the past three months to enable them to compete.

Dad Trevor, a taxi driver, said: "My wife is a huge Phil Collins fan and she decided to send him a letter, saying what the team was up to and to ask if he could help out."

Mrs Burden, a childminder who lives in Simonside, was stunned when she received a reply from the star saying he'd like to make a donation.

Mr Burden, 40, said: "We're not allowed to say how much he's actually donated to the academy, but we can say it's a considerable amount and it covers quite a few team members.

"It was very kind of him to help out, especially as his personal assistant said he doesn't normally get involved with these kinds of ventures any more, so we're very grateful.

He added: "We would also like to thank all of the other sponsors who have helped us out."

© Shieldsgazette, by Verity Ward

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