Manchester United target Jude Bellingham is a star on and off the pitch for his charity work despite £145-a-week wages – The Sun

BIRMINGHAM wonderkid Jude Bellingham is a star both on and off the pitch.

Europe's biggest clubs including Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea are all ready to scrap it out for the £50million-rated midfielder.

The England youth star, 16, who is still only on £145-a-week, is considered the best prospect since Wayne Rooney following his breakthrough campaign for the Championship side.

Despite his worldwide attention, Bellingham is staying humble by working alongside charity The Mustard Seed Project.

The organisation, founded by husband and wife Geoff and Rita Fowler, is a small charity that provides education for the children of poor families in the Mombasa Slum of Kenya.

Rita, 73, revealed how Bellingham showed his true colours by jumping at the opportunity to use his profile to help those in need.

Speaking to SunSport, Rita said: "His father, Mark, works with my daughter and she was talking to him about the charity.

"Mark mentioned it to Jude and he showed no hesitation wanting to come on board. He's such a lovely guy and he's so interested.

"He's so kind and caring. I can't speak highly enough of him."

The Mustard Seed Project has spent the last 11 years raising cash to build a school for 275 children while embarking on their latest project to erect an upper storey and expand the number of classrooms.

They have also spent the last ten years supporting the Mgongeni community football team by paying their league fees and bus fares to get to games.

Thanks to Bellingham's involvement, the squad have been kitted out in the colours of Birmingham's royal blue.

He also continues to have an impact helping build the school after raising over £1500 although he is still shy of his £15,000 target.

Rita added: "Adidas provide him money to spend on their gear each year and he ended up giving that to us which we've sold to raise funds.

"We also arranged to take kits to Kenya and Jude has a Virgin Money giving page in which fans donate to help raise money to build a classroom.

"Some have given generously and some of his supporters give small amounts."

In an interview with League Football Education, Bellingham spoke of his pride after seeing the Mgongeni team line up in the kits he helped deliver.

He's so kind and caring. I can't speak highly enough of him.

He said: "I saw a picture and it gave me a great feeling seeing how happy they were and knowing how much it will help them going forward.

“The more attention I get from doing good things on the pitch, hopefully that will crossover to the charity, so it’s definitely at the back of my mind as a driving factor for me to keep working hard and performing well so that the charity can benefit too."

Not even Bellingham could have predicted his meteoric rise into Pep Clotet's first-team this season.

In August he broke Trevor Francis's 49-year record to become the club's youngest ever player while taking the youngest goalscorer crown in a win over Stoke in the same month.

Now he's playing regularly in front of the world's biggest scouts despite not being old enough to sign his first professional contract.

Bellingham is expected to make a huge money move at the end of the season which could see his modest £145-a-week wage packet increase to a staggering £100,000.

And Rita is hopeful his future fame will make a huge difference to a poor community.

She added: "Hopefully people will see what he is trying to do and it will help us.

"We desperately need help to complete the upper storey of the school and money that Jude helps us raise will make a huge, huge difference to a very poor community.

"The school costs around £3500 a month to run and education isn't free in Kenya so it is providing poor children with education and help change their lives."

Bellingham has not been able to make a personal visit to the school and football team as he juggles a football career while studying an A-level in sociology.

But a visit to Mombasa is on the horizon as he told the LFE.

He added: "I’m really eager to get out there at some point as well to see what I can do directly to help. I want to be remembered, not just for football but for my actions off the pitch."

Donate to Jude Bellingham's Just Giving Page here

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