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Over two years ago, Aston Villa Football Club began a relationship with the Acorns Children's Hospice Trust, and that relationship has come to a magical fruition.

Villa is forgoing a lucrative shirt sponsor to promote the work of Acorns children’s hospices in central England on its jerseys after shunning a multimillion-dollar deal with an Internet gaming company.

“Yes, the shirts have monetary value, but they also have emotional value to fans and this is something to give back to them,” said Duncan Riddle, the club’s head of community relations.

Since Aston’s involvement began, players have made personal connections with the children, parents, staff members and nurses at the hospice.

“Real credit must go to Aston Villa for being the first Premier League club to use their shirt sponsorship to highlight their charity partnership with Acorns,” Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said. “I am sure that Acorns’ association with Aston Villa will be a great help in raising awareness and funds for the excellent work they undertake.”

Acorns look after 600 children and families and run three 10-bed units across central England. It’s currently the only organization that provides care 24 hours a day, 7-days a week to children not expected to reach adulthood.

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