LONDON, UK -- Daily Mail: Gary Neville has paid £20,000 out of his own pocket to book Great Britain's Deaf Football squads their places at the Deaflympics.
GB Deaf Football do not receive public funding and made an appeal for financial assistance last month as they tried to put together enough money for the deposit which would guarantee their spot at next year's event in Samsun, Turkey.
The organisation needed to raise £17,750 before December 1 but what appeared to be a tough task melted away when Manchester United legend Neville stumped up the whole lot, with interest, after being alerted to the cause on Twitter.
Responding to a tweet from United fan Jimmy McBride to the Premier League and Football Association asking for their support, Neville wrote on Sunday: 'I will do it if they won't'.
And he has followed through on his promise, with GB Deaf Football posting a screenshot of their justgiving website on Wednesday which showed the Sky Sports pundit's donation had landed in their account.
They wrote: 'It's official. Thank you @GNev2 for donating £20,000 to send us to the Deaflympics 2017.'
It's official. Thank you @GNev2 for donating £20,000 to send us to the Deaflympics 2017. Just £105k to go ⚽️🇬🇧🏅https://t.co/oO5fBehvW5 pic.twitter.com/9FfD7ElxJN— GB Deaf Football (@GB_DeafFootball) November 2, 2016
GB Deaf Football need to lay on training sessions and warm-up matches in their preparations for the Deaflympics, as well as finding funds for flights, hotels and physiotherapy.
While Neville has paid for the deposit, the group still need to secure a further £105,000 to ensure both men's and women's squads can take part next summer.
Neville is the second leading football personality to make an important pledge to British Deaf Football in the space of 12 months.
In 2015, Jack Butland made a £5,000 donation to help send the women's team to this year's World Cup.
At the time, Butland said: 'I've learnt a lot from major tournaments, experiences I'll never forget, I'd love for you to experience the same.'
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