Roberto Di Matteo and Dennis Wise met with patients and staff at The Royal Marsden Hospital today to present a cheque for funds raised in honour of their former team-mate and manager Gianluca Vialli.

Vialli, who was treated at The Royal Marsden Hospital for pancreatic cancer but sadly died in January 2023, would have been 60 today.

The two Chelsea legends toured the Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre, which is funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, to learn more about the hospital and charity’s work. They also met with staff and patients in the Diane McCarthy Medical Day Unit, many of whom were eager Chelsea fans.

In September 2023, Chelsea Legends played Bayern Munich Legends at Stamford Bridge in honour of Vialli.

The match, won 4-0 by Chelsea, raised more than £400,000 to be shared between The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Chelsea Foundation and the Bayern Foundation.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity raises money solely to support The Royal Marsden, by supporting life-saving research, investing in state-of-the-art equipment, funding modern patient environments, and helping the hospital offer patients world-leading treatment and care.

Di Matteo and Wise presented the cheque for £185,160 to the newest trustee of the charity, Professor David Cunningham OBE, who oversaw Vialli’s treatment during his time at The Royal Marsden.

Di Matteo said: ‘It is always a heart-warming experience visiting The Royal Marsden. We visited ahead of the Legends of Europe match to meet with patients and the tremendous staff who treated our dear friend Gianluca. Coming back to do the same and see how the money raised from the match will help the hospital and patients was a truly special honour.’

Professor Cunningham said: ‘We are honoured that Chelsea FC has chosen to donate such a generous sum to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. The legends match was an incredible event which honoured the life and legacy of Gianluca Vialli, and it is wonderful that the funds raised in his memory will go on to help so many people in the UK and around the world.’