Arsenal legend Patrick Viera at Harpenden charity golf day

FOR the past nine years, a charity golf day has been a key event on a club’s calendar – and this year a football legend added a dash of celebrity to the proceedings.

Since the death of her husband Ian in October 2002, Anne Swanston has held the charity day at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club in Harpenden where he was a member to raise money for the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society (NASS) and Crohns and Colitis UK.

Ian suffered from both illnesses and died at the age of 54 so Anne set about helping them financially. She has raised around �130,000 since the inception of the golf day.

This year her efforts got a boost when former Arsenal captain and French World Cup winner Patrick Viera was one of the 75 golfers who teed up for the competition and when the final putt was sunk, a charity auction helped swell the coffers.

The lots included a football shirt signed by Arsenal captain Robin van Persie and a trip for two to Stoke Park.

Anne said: “The day was excellent, made even more perfect by the weather. The day is extremely important to my family and I, something I am very proud to host in memory of my late husband Ian and a day that he would be amazed at because so many people come to support it.”

This year’s golf day raised �4,500.