A fundraising appeal has been launched to save the footballing career of a promising Newcastle Town youngster.
Nathan Morley, who came through the Burton Albion academy, was excelling in the Pitching In Northern Premier League before being plagued by a complex injury which has kept him out since January.
A chronic partial tear of his left common adductor-recuts abdominis aponeurosis and a partial tear of the left adductor breves muscle has kept Morley on the sidelines and Town are now looking to raise £15,000 to ensure a promising career can resume as he looks to return to the professional game.
“The surgery is a must otherwise he won’t play,” said Newcastle manager Robin van der Laan, whose side are one of more than 200 clubs across the country to be financially supported by Pitching In, a multi-million-pound grassroots sport investment programme.
“It’s so frustrating for him because he started the season so well and everyone was talking about him.
“He makes an impression in every game and he’s definitely got the potential to kick on into full time football.
“I finished through injury as well but I was lucky, I’d played 14 years - to finish through injury when you’re 20, 21 is a travesty.”
Morley first joined the Staffordshire outfit on loan from Burton in the 2019/20 season and has since made a big impression.
And former Derby midfielder van der Laan, who scored the goal which took the Rams into the Premier League in 1996, is determined to spearhead the fundraising efforts with a particular surgeon in mind.
“Professor Ernest Schilders has done more than 130 Premier League players and none of the injuries have reoccurred,” he said.
“The recovery time is quick – he should be back playing within 12 weeks. It’s quite a fast solution but it’s a very expensive one as it’s cutting-edge surgery.
“Just the cost of a coffee could help – lots of little donations could make a big difference to this lad’s career.
“We understand times are hard and if you can’t afford it, please just forward it on, send messages out on social media, and help that way.”
You can donate to Nathan's fundraiser by clicking here.
Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/