Soccer star Ian Wright MBE showed his softer side last week when he presented children's charity Childline with £17,631, he helped raise in a summer celebrity golf tournament.

The former Crystal Palace and Arsenal striker was at Addington Court Golf Club, on Featherbed Lane, on Thursday, December 20, to hand over a cheque.

He told the Guardian: "Since the first time I went to Childline five years ago, I saw how busy they were and how many kids need help, so I wanted to help in any way I could."

So when Shirley-based Wright's golf coach Tony Healy suggested a celebrity pro-amateur tournament, Wright wanted the proceeds to go to Childline.

The children's charity get 15,000 calls every day, but can only answer about 3,500, so the money will go towards the counselling service, employing more staff, and training volunteers. Of every pound donated, 90p goes straight to the service.

Childline's Jemma Temple said: "When children see Ian supporting Childline it gives it street credibility and reaches out to children we can't reach on our own, especially boys who look up to him."

The celebrity event took place at Addington Court in July, and included a charity auction of sports memorabilia.

Addington Court's Tony Healy said: "It was a great event which everyone really enjoyed. We didn't set ourselves any targets but to raise over £17,000 was unbelievable."

Another charity golf day is planned for July 2002.