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Joy as ex-Gills goalkeeper George Howard coming home to Rainham after horror crash in South Africa

By Jenni Horn

Ex-Gills goalkeeper George Howard who was seriously hurt in a crash in South Africa is now well enough to fly home.

The 20-year-old, from Rainham, was involved in a crash last month while on holiday.

On Friday, it was reported he had woken up from his coma and now his friend Martin Di Fede said he will be flown back to the UK.

Former Gillingham reserve goalie George Howard
Former Gillingham reserve goalie George Howard

He posted online: "George is coming home! The doctors have said he is now well enough to travel home. They are making the necessary arrangements now and he should be back in the next week or so.

"Once home he will need to remain in hospital (not confirmed which hospital yet) for a period of time before he will be discharged.

"This is obviously the news we have all being praying for, can't wait to see him."

Martin set up an online fundraising page for George, which has collected almost £14,000.

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

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

George Howard has arrived back in the UK
George Howard has arrived back in the UK

The appeal has attracted support from former England international Kenny Sansom and former national newspaper editor and TV personality Piers Morgan.

One of the latest donations comes from George's former school, The Howard in Rainham, which held a cake sale and raised £170.

George 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.

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