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Super Mario scores with dog lovers


Thursday September 18th 2014

New Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is believed to have made a five-figure donation to the animal centre devastated by a blaze last week.

As many as 60 dogs tragically lost their lives in last Thursday's fire at Manchester Dogs' Home's Harpurhey centre.

Staff are in no doubt that the secret donation came from renowned dog lover Balotelli, 24. The £60,000-a-week footballer used to help the home walk dogs during his last spell in England with Manchester City.

Dogs' home spokeswoman Jane Smith says that it makes sense since the millionaire star helped out with abandoned animals while his own pooch was still in Italian quarantine.

Balotelli's devotion to dogs even extended to asking permission for his own pet Lucky to accompany him on Manchester City's FA Cup-winning parade through the city three years ago.

He also frequently posts photographs of his black Labrador on Twitter. The money was given via the Manchester Evening News's JustGiving page.

But Balotelli's suspected donation wouldn't make him the only famous benefactor to put their hand in their pocket for the home. Simon Cowell, the X Factor judge, pledged £25,000.

A spokesman for Balotelli could not clarify if the donation had come from the wacky-hairstyled player.

Famous for his eccentric off-pitch stunts including a reported fireworks party in his bathroom, Balotelli joined Liverpool from AC Milan in the summer for £16 million.

Copyright Press Association 2014