Former England international and Valencia manager Gary Neville has donated £20,000 to help the Great Britain deaf football teams to compete in the Deaflympics in Turkey in 2017.
With the male and female sides receiving no funding from government or football bodies, they were in danger of missing out unless they could raise a £17,750 deposit before the start of December.
Neville stepped in with a £20,000 donation after replying to a social media call from GB women’s captain Claire Stancliffe for the Premier League and the Football Association to make a donation by tweeting: “I will do it if they won’t.”
Stancliffe told BBC Sport: “For the last nine years since I made my international debut, I’ve had to fundraise every year just to represent my country, let alone pay for all the training I have to do.
“It does get tiring and sometimes you do feel like just giving up. But there’s just something that makes me keep fighting. I can’t give up something that has ultimately made me who I am today.
“If I didn’t have the opportunity to play with other deaf players, I would be lost. No one can fully understand deafness unless they have been through it themselves.”
GB Deaf Football aim to raise £125,000 in total to aid preparations for the Deaflympics, as well as to pay for flights and hotels to compete at the competition.
— GB Deaf Football (@GB_DeafFootball) November 2, 2016