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Players line up to aid ex-Gillingham, Bromley, Sevenoaks and Charlton keeper George Howard as Piers Morgan sends his support

By Jenni Horn

Fundraising efforts for former Gills ‘keeper George Howard have gathered pace, with players signing up to take part in a charity match and Piers Morgan sending his support.

George was involved in a car accident while on holiday in South Africa with former Charlton teammates Joe Pigott and Morgan Fox.

Former Gills keeper George Howard
Former Gills keeper George Howard

The 20-year-old from Rainham, who is in a drug-induced coma, is described as being in a stable condition after fracturing his skill in the crash on Friday, May 23.

George’s friends Martin Di Fede and Aaron Burrett, who play for Rochester United, have set up an online donation page which has raised more almost £12,000. The money will help George’s parents, Mark and Marion, stay with him in South Africa.

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

Former England international Kenny Sansom tweeted: “Please! I urge everyone that see this link to click the link and RT.”

Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan

Journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan tweeted a link to the online donation page, with the message “Very sad story. Please help if you can”.

Mr Di Fede, 29, said: “The support George has got has been phenomenal, everyone has got on board, and the whole football community has pulled together.”

He added: “George’s parents have been overwhelmed by all the support.”

George’s friend Siobhan High has organised a fundraiser at The Command House pub in Chatham on Sunday. From noon until late there will be music, raffles, a barbecue and a collection.

Former Charlton and Sevenoaks teammate Richmond Kissi has got together with manager Darren Anslow to organise a football match in George’s honour.

Players who have signed up so far include Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler, ex-Gills player Luke Rooney and former player and Bromley manager Simon Osborn.

Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler
Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler

George, a former Howard School pupil from Rainham, joined Gillingham FC at the start of the 2013/14 season as back-up to number one goalkeeper Stuart Nelson but was released by the club at the end of the season.

The fundraising match will take place at Coldharbour Leisure Centre, Chapel Farm Road, Eltham, on Sunday, June 8, kicking off at 1.30pm.

To donate to George’s fund, visit www.gofundme.com/9ktsy0

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