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Football star helps the homeless

By James Masters, CNN
January 21, 2013 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
Swansea City's Angel Rangel in action for the Premier League club.
Swansea City's Angel Rangel in action for the Premier League club.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Angel Rangel, the Swansea City player, makes trip to homeless shelter
  • Spaniard took food to those at local homeless shelter following tweet appeal
  • Rangel promises to cook his famous Spanish Omelette next time

(CNN) -- When it comes to football players, there are very few who can be held up as respectable role models.

All too often, players are criticized for their off-field behaviour, alleged racist remarks, outbursts on Twitter and end up gracing the front pages of newspapers for all the wrong reasons.

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But on a cold Friday night in South Wales with snow sweeping across the country, one football player really did make a difference.

Angel Rangel, the Swansea City defender, who is an integral part of Michael Laudrup's side, had only left home to go for a sandwich with his wife, Nikki.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was photographed grappling with his firebrand striker Mario Balotelli during a training run on Thursday, prompting coaching staff to intervene to separate the pair. Mancini later downplayed the tussle, sparked by Balotelli's hostile tackle on a fellow player, as "nothing unusual." Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was photographed grappling with his firebrand striker Mario Balotelli during a training run on Thursday, prompting coaching staff to intervene to separate the pair. Mancini later downplayed the tussle, sparked by Balotelli's hostile tackle on a fellow player, as "nothing unusual."
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Driving in hazardous wintry conditions, Rangel decided to make the journey to his local sandwich shop to have a bite to eat.

It is there that Rangel takes up the story, telling CNN about his gesture as he drove through the city looking for people sleeping rough.

He said: "We went for something to eat in a local sandwich chain and overheard the manager saying they had to throw out bags of sandwiches as they were about to close for the night.

"My wife, Nikki, who is a very caring and charitable person, asked if we could have them for the homeless rather than see them thrown in the bin.

"They agreed and we drove around Swansea for over an hour, but couldn't find any homeless people as it was so cold out on the streets with all the snow.

"We decided to tweet a plea and we were guided to a local charity shelter who looked after the homeless."

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That tweet, which went viral, was picked up by a local homeless shelter which invited the pair to the venue.

After giving out sandwiches and talking to the group, Rangel joked he should have hit the kitchen to cook up some of his famous Spanish Omelette.

He added: "They were obviously grateful and after chatting to the charity worker it is something we are going to do on a regular basis. It's the least we can do, especially with it being so could outside at the moment.

"I don't know if we'll be as lucky with the free sandwiches in future, so I may have to cook some of my special Spanish omelettes instead!"

He later wrote on Twitter: "Wow we r amazed at the amount of tweets we r receiving. Thanks a lot but it was just a little gesture we drove for only 1 hour and felt great."

Rangel stated that he did not want the name of the shelter publicly named.

Rangel will now hope to put a smile on lots more Swansea City faces when he takes on Stoke City in the Premier League Saturday.

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