Dubai: The DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series signed off 2019 with Liverpool FC legend Jason McAteer and former British and Irish Lions star Simon Shaw MBE joining 180 local golfers and evening guests at Jumeirah Golf Estates to raise significant funds which will go to the treatment of the two- year-old Dubai resident Xander John Ely Siddaayao Ayalde — who is undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

“It’s a privilege and an honour to be asked to come down and support the series,” said McAteer. “I’ve been waiting a while for the phone call as all the other footballers that have attended have told me how great it is which is a credit to the organisers.

“We all know the importance of supporting charities and especially one like this where everyone in their life is touched by cancer at some point. It’s a horrible disease that we can hopefully eradicate in the future but for that to be done, it requires research that needs to be funded and that’s why we are all down here today to raise as much as possible.”

Shaw, who was part of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning squad, added: “I am thrilled to bits to be part of this fantastic series. It’s always nice to be invited to these things and help out these amazing charities.

The Mike Clark Golf Day was played alongside the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series Grand Final where six winners from the previous three events — DHL Open, Fearnley International Open and DSA Open — were battling it out to be named champion and secure their spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship Pro-Am. Bill Taylor, who won the DSA Open in September, came out on top and will be rubbing shoulders with the top 50 players on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai as well as winning two VIP hospitality tickets for the opening day of the prestigious event.

“It’s such a tremendous event and I played really well, better than expected,” said Taylor. “I’m delighted that I won the competition because I love playing in them, I have played in all the ones that I have known about and had a really good time. I have been encouraging a lot of my friends to come to this event and take part and do their bit to fight cancer.”

The DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series has now raised over US$300,000 since it launched in 2017 and has captured the imagination of the UAE’s golf and business communities as well as gaining support from a string celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment including Harry Redknapp, Mike Tindall, Michael Campbell, Teddy Sheringham, Matt Le Tissier, Ian Bell, Dean Holdsworth, John Barnes and Ruud Gullit.