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Home   Medway   News   Article

Ex-Gillingham, Charlton and Bromley keeper George Howard, from Rainham, in critical condition in hospital in South Africa

30 May 2014
by Jenni Horn

Thousands of pounds has been raised for a former Gills player who is fighting for his life in hospital in South Africa. 

George Howard was involved in a serious car accident last Friday while on holiday.

The 20-year-old from Rainham has been in a coma for the last week and is on life-support.

Former Gills reserve goalie George Howard

Former Gills reserve goalie George Howard

In the last day his condition is said to have stabilised, but he is still critical.

His friend Martin Di Fede has set up an online fundraising page to support George's family.

More than £3,000 was raised within 11 hours of the site being created and now more than £10,000 has been donated.

Initially, the funds were to pay for George's treatment, estimated to cost £15,000 a day.

But his insurance company has now agreed to pay for his care, so the money raised will go towards helping George's family stay with him in South Africa.

An online fundraising page has been set up for George

An online fundraising page has been set up for George

Martin has written on the site: "For those who don't know George he is a talented, driven, focused and enthusiastic young man who with his infectious personality makes people instantly warm to him.

"For those who do know George know that no words can describe what a great friend he is to so many."

George, a former Howard School pupil, joined Gillingham FC at the start of the 2013/14 season as backup to number one goalkeeper Stuart Nelson. He left the club at the end of the season. 

He has also played for Sevenoaks, Bromley and Charlton Athletic youth side. 

Former Charlton and Sevenoaks team mate Richmond Kissi both is organising a football match to raise money for the fund.

George Howard is fighting for his life

George Howard is fighting for his life

He said: “I have known George since his Charlton days. I got on really well with him and his parents too so my thoughts go out to them.

"George is a great character, he will have you laughing from the moment you meet him. He is very well liked.

“We have had a lot of interest from players who want to take part. Some people don’t even know him, they have just heard about what has happened and want to help.”

The Twitter name @prayforgeorge has been set up by a football fan and the footballing community has been tweeting its support. 

"My thoughts are with George, his family and friends at this difficult time" - Peter Taylor

Gills striker Danny Kedwell tweeted on Wednesday: "Bit of good news this morning with George Howard swelling on brain gone down. Keep going pal you can do it pal."

Manager Peter Taylor said: "I am absolutely devastated to hear of the news and we are praying for his recovery. 

"My thoughts are with George, his family and friends at this difficult time."

To donate to the fund, visit http://www.gofundme.com/9ktsy0

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