Albion fans can make a wish come true

George Holloway-Bartle is the subject of an Albion in the Community appeal, to buy him a power chair
George Holloway-Bartle is the subject of an Albion in the Community appeal, to buy him a power chair

The official charity of Brighton and Hove Albion has launched its Christmas appeal.

The official charity of Brighton and Hove Albion is asking its fans to make a wish come true this Christmas.

Albion in the Community (AITC) runs dozens of disability sport sessions throughout Sussex, helping hundreds of people take part in sport who otherwise would not have the opportunity to.

One such player is George Holloway-Bartle, a 15-year-old from Sompting, who has recently started attending AITC’s powerchair football sessions and, according to his dad, the regular sport has had a hugely positive impact on him. Powerchairs, however, are expensive and AITC is only able to provide a small number of chairs for people to borrow when they start sessions.

For George to continue playing he now needs a sports powerchair of his own, so AITC has made the teenager the subject of its annual Christmas fundraising appeal. It is asking Albion fans to donate towards the £4,225 cost of a new chair.

Matthew Bartle, George’s dad, said: “George was born prematurely and everything was fine until he was four months old and he started having seizures. He went through a really tough time for a few years. He had an operation which stopped the seizures but left him with profound weakness down his right side and he needs a wheelchair to get around.

“Doing sport with AITC has energised him because he plays with people his own age. He has friends and it has put him on more of an even keel from a social perspective.

“He loves contributing to a team – it isn’t something he has ever been able to do before. He scored a goal the other week and he was so pleased he couldn’t stop talking about it.

“He’s never had an interest in sport until now. I took him to his first match at the Amex recently and he absolutely loved it.”

There are a number of rewards on offer for people who donate specific amounts, including shirts, match tickets and places on Albion in the Community soccer schools.

To donate, and help make George’s wish come true, visit: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/a-power-chair-for-george.