ALAN Pardew has given meningitis victim Tilly Lockey a helping hand.
The Newcastle United manager has showed his support to the Give Tilly a Hand Appeal by donating his handprints for an auction to raise money for the six-year-old.
Little Tilly was invited to United's training ground to meet Pardew and the players and to be presented with the framed handprint, signed by the Toon team.
Her mum Sarah, 33, of Blackhill, near Consett, County Durham, said: “We were really taken aback when we were told that Alan wanted to donate his hand prints for Tilly.
“We were invited to the training ground and Tilly was introduced to all the players and Alan and they were all really lovely with her.
“We had such a brilliant day. She is a such a lucky little girl.”
Tilly, who contracted meningitis when she was 15 months old, had both hands amputated.
But with the help of the Chronicle, her family set up the Give Tilly a Hand Appeal to begin their fundraising drive to find the money to buy prosthetic replacements.
Over the years dozens of celebrity handprints have been donated to raise money to buy Tilly the best prosthetic hands available.
Now, Pardew’s prints will be auctioned off to join other celebrities, including Bond actor Daniel Craig and former Toon boss Kevin Keegan. The hand is made up of a collage of photographs of Pardew with Newcastle United players and all members of the 2011-12 team have signed the frame.
Sarah said: “We are going to auction the hands off to raise money for Tilly’s fund, which will go towards paying for her hands in the future.”
Pardew said: “Myself and the players were delighted to welcome Tilly to the training ground last week. She is a tremendously brave little girl, and such a happy and beautiful girl too. I loved the card she gave me. It was a pleasure to present her with a signed hand print and everyone at Newcastle United wishes her all the very best.”
Just last year Tilly received a new pair of artificial limbs from Scottish company Touch Bionics, which cost £24,000.