A sporting hero aboard The Ark

Arthur meets his hero, James Maddison

We were honoured to welcome James Maddison, the esteemed midfielder from Tottenham Hotspur to The Ark yesterday as part of our valued partnership with the club. The excitement was palpable among our young Spurs superfans as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their sporting hero. When the Spurs star player stepped into The Ark, James was greeted with wide smiles and sparkling eyes. The children, and their families, were overjoyed at the opportunity to interact with James, discussing their shared love for football and cherishing every moment of this unique event.

Family football fun

Three families that we support were there on the day, including Ray, aged twelve, who we’ve been supporting since he was six months old. Ray’s twin brother Arthur, who enjoys our sibling activities was also there to join in the fun. Both Ray and Arthur are avid Spurs fans – Arthur proudly sported his Spurs top during his photoshoot with world-renowned photographer Rankin, which took place last year as part of our annual fundraising campaign, From That Moment.


During his visit, James embarked on a tour of The Ark with our CEO Sophie Andrews, visiting The Therapies Wing to spend time with the families and hear their stories and tales of courage. However, the visit wasn’t all talk; it was also action-packed. In our accessible playground, James enthusiastically engaged in a lively game of football with the children, exchanging playful banter and adding an extra layer of excitement to the day. Our Noah’s Ark mascot even put on his away kit to join in the kickabout fun!







Roscoe, parent of Ray who is supported by Noah’s Ark, said:

“It’s been a brilliant day. They told us we were going to meet someone from Tottenham Hotspur, but that it was a secret, and so we have been excited about it for a little while now. But we couldn’t wait to see who it was going to be, because my family are huge Tottenham supporters!”

James Maddison added:

“I’ve had a brilliant time meeting some of the kids and families today, kids who are struggling and families who are really strong and going through a tough moment. It’s been a really heart-warming experience, just to be able to come and put a smile on their faces.

“It was also great to meet Sophie, who was wonderful today and showed me the whole premises. She also said she was going to do an interview at half-time during the Arsenal match!”

The visit was brimming with smiles and laughter as the unforgettable experience truly embodied the spirit of our motto: ‘making the most of every day.’

Our CEO, Sophie Andrews OBE, expressed her gratitude, saying:

“James Maddison’s visit to The Ark was an unforgettable experience for us as a charity, creating memories for children who are seriously unwell and their families. We are incredibly proud to be Tottenham Hotspur’s official charity partner and we’re grateful for their commitment to creating special experiences such as these. This visit is part of a programme of events we are working on alongside the Club this year, which include a celebration of the partnership at the Spurs vs Arsenal game this month.”

As a parting gift, Maddison presented a hamper of Spurs-themed games and toys for the children to enjoy beyond his visit.

We have been a proud partner of Tottenham Hotspur since 2016, and the visit is part of a series of activities which will culminate in a celebration of the partnership at the north London derby match on Sunday 28 April.

Fans attending the derby will be able to support Noah’s Ark’s work through donations via volunteer fundraisers located outside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.