10:14 04 November 2010
TV star Ricky Tomlinson has donated £1m to Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's hospital, it was revealed this week.
Staff at Ronald McDonald House, which provides overnight accommodation for families of patients at Alder Hey, were stunned when they received £1m from a "Mr Eric Tomlinson".
Charity Director Jan Thomas said: "We are so overwhelmed at Ricky's generosity.
"His accountant rang us and said Eric Tomlinson wants to make a donation. We didn't know who Eric Tomlinson was. Then we realised it was Ricky.
She added: "When we asked if he wanted any publicity he said no. He just said 'It's for the kids - they are the future'."
Tomlinson made the donation two years ago after visiting the charity and kept it a secret ever since.
The donation has helped fund an extension for 15 families who need to stay near the hospital for more than six months.
He laid a time capsule within the foundations of the new apartments on 1 November and spoke of his delight at being able to support Ronald McDonald House.
"The house provides a vital lifeline to parents and families who come to hospital with their critically ill children and these new apartments will be able to give them some much needed support during an incredibly difficult time.
"I'm looking forward to seeing them completed in June 2011."
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