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Star gets his kicks by helping; READERS RUSH TO TAKE PENALTIES AGAINST MEAT LOAF.

Byline: By GORDON BARR Entertainment Editor

DOZENS of Meat Loaf fans have been entering our auction to take penalty kicks at the American rocker for charity - and the good news is there is still time for you to take part.

The chart-topping entertainer has agreed to help our backing of both the Maggie's Cancer Care Centre planned for the Freeman Hospital and the Toma Fund, set up to raise money for a Tyneside teenage cancer unit, as revealed in yesterday's Chronicle.

Later this month he will put himself between the goalposts at St James's Park in Newcastle.

We have launched an auction in which the 100 highest bidders can take penalty kicks at the superstar when he makes the fundraising trip to the city on June 25.

He will try and save the penalties in front of inflatable goals in the family enclosure at the ground. All 100 highest bidders get a photo with Meat and those who kick a goal past him also get two tickets and a merchandising certificate towards goods at his outdoor show at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, on July 11.

Meat Loaf announced he planned to do something for charity in Newcastle to apologise for walking off stage last October 70 minutes into his show at the Metro Radio Arena due to a cyst in his throat.

We contacted him and he immediately gave the thumbs-up to helping the causes.

"It sounds fun for the people kicking the ball at me," laughed Meat. "I'm not so sure how much fun that is for me.

I'll just wing it.

"My mother died when I was 17 years old from cancer, at the age of 54, which is very young, and my grandfather died from leukaemia, so cancers run in my family."

The Chronicle is appealing to readers to help raise pounds 500,000 towards a pounds 3m cancer centre at the Freeman, where patients and their loved ones will be able to get advice on coping with their illness. Cancer charity Maggie's hopes to open the centre in 2010.

Along with Newcastle United, we are also supporting the Toma Fund, which was launched in April in tribute to Jordan Thompson, a young lad and aspiring football player, who died from cancer at the age of 15.

HOW TO MAKE A BID

TO PLACE your bid, call the Evening Chronicle on 0901 819 0479 and enter the amount you are bidding using your telephone keypad when prompted.

Alternatively, text MAGGIE followed by a space then your amount to 84080. For example MAGGIE 84 to bid pounds 84. Minimum bid is pounds 20, maximum bid is pounds 5,000. Bids must be made in pounds 1 increments only.

Lines will close at midnight on Sunday.

Texts cost 25p plus standard network charge.

Calls cost 25p per minute from a BT landline; other networks may vary.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 12, 2008
Words:476
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