The region’s ‘football family’ invited to take part in a round robin tournament at Cambridge United to raise funds for friends injured in a car crash

Joey Abbs and Shaun Whiter.

Joey Abbs and Shaun Whiter. - Credit: Archant

Bosses at Cambridge United Football Club are planning a tournament fund raising day for two young footballers who suffered life changing injuries in a hit and run car crash at Newmarket.

Cambridge United chief executive offficer Jez George (Pic: Steve Wells)

Cambridge United chief executive offficer Jez George (Pic: Steve Wells) - Credit: Archant

Chief executives Jez George and Chris Pringle are inviting clubs from across the region to join in a show of strength from the “football family” to take part in a round robin tournament at the main stand of the Abbey Stadium.

An appeal to raise £120,000 has been launched to buy prosthetic limbs so that Shaun Whiter, 27, can walk down the aisle with fiance Charlotte next summer.

A fund is also running to help Joey Abbs, who suffered serious leg injuries, when a driver crashed into their vehicles when the pair stopped after Joey’s car broke down in Dullingham Road.

“Everyone involved in local football, know this could have happened to any one of us,” said Mr George and Mr Pringle.

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“Together we can make a real difference for two brilliant young men with their lives ahead of them but who, through no fault of their own, now “need to cope with the consequences of such a traumatic event.

“We are talking to Cambridge City, Soham Town Rangers, Newmarket Town and Fulbourn, the clubs that Joey felt were right to be pivotal in this day, regarding their involvement.

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“But we want this to be a day for everyone so that the local football family can come together in a huge show of strength, unity and support for these two local footballers.

“I know that both men have been taken aback by the huge number of goodwill messages, donations and support that they have received from the wider football community and the local football family.

“We want to harness this fantastic outpouring of support and make a real difference in helping Shaun adapt to life after sustaining such serious injuries and help both men cope with the weeks and months ahead.

“Shaun, in particular is going to need a considerable amount of funds due to his life changing injuries which mean he will need prosthetic limbs and adaptations to his house.”

In a statement issued to the media Mr George and Mr Pringle said that Cambridge United, in association with Cambridgeshire FA, have spoken to Shaun, Joey and their families.

The Mundipharma Community Stand holds around 2,800 people and the pair aim to fill it.

“If we could also fill the South Stand, with another 1,500 seats, then we would be making the kind of money that we need to help Shaun properly,” they said.

“There are many people at Cambridge United who are currently, or who have been previously, involved in local football in various capacities. “From our board of directors through to our most junior member of staff, we have people at every level of the club who are local and have managed, coached or played in the Cambridgeshire County League.

“There are many other practical ways in which we can all help these men in the coming weeks, months and years but at the moment, a public show of support and raising money is the best way in which we can really positively affect the situation.”

• Once it is known when Shaun can leave hospital, and a pitch date is secured, tickets will go on sale for the tournament which is likely to be the end of August or beginning of September.

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