Arsenal footballer Laurent Koscielny has donated €600,000 (£495,000) to the Maugein accordion factory in Tulle after it was threatened with closure and the loss of 20 jobs.
Founded in 1919, Maugein is France’s oldest accordion factory. Having always made accordions from scratch, the factory has been facing declining sales as a result of the cheaper instruments available from Eastern Europe and China.
When the factory’s plight was announced, Tulle’s mayor Bernard Combes appealed to French president François Hollande for help and he approached the footballer.
At the end of last week Koscielny, who was born in Tulle and grew up playing the accordion, answered the plea with a generous donation that will keep the factory open.
Koscielny, a highly rated centre back, has played for Arsenal since 2010, having been signed by the London club from French team Lorient. He has also played 15 times for France itself.