Disabled Portsmouth FC fan's wheelchair stolen at Fratton Park during Southampton game - and sparks £1,300 fundraiser
POMPEY fans have raised more than £1,300 to replace a disabled woman’s wheelchair ‘stolen’ at Fratton Park.
History graduate Nicola Upfield posted about her plight on Twitter after she attended the Portsmouth v Southampton derby on Tuesday night where the Blues were dealt a 4-0 loss at home.
The disabled Pompey fan said her wheelchair was 'presumed stolen' but the club was checking CCTV at Fratton Park to see if it was taken by mistake during the third round Carabao Cup match.
It comes after five arrests were made during Hampshire’s ‘biggest ever’ football policing operation, including a man now released accused of punching police horse Luna.
Nicola said: 'The only time I’ve ever used my wheelchair to get to the ground (couldn’t park in the car park today) and it was taken from inside the Frogmore Road entrance.
'Anyone see someone walking with one like it or with a chair but nobody in it?'
She later added: 'In all seriousness, if you took it because you were tanked up and in the heat of the moment thought it was funny but now regret it please just drop it back to Fratton and say you “found it” or something. I just want it back.'
Longstanding Pompey fan Ian Chiverton, from Godalming, launched a GoFundMe page that has raised £1,325 despite having just a £500 target.
Eric Eisner, Pompey director and son of owner Michael Eisner, has donated £100 to the cause.
Tweeting last night Nicola said: ' just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone. I felt pretty low after Tuesday night but I’ve been reminded that there are way more kind people than not and more importantly, reminded of how awesome the #pompeyfamily is'
Around £700 of the extra cash raised will be donated to the clubs' disabled supporters' association.
On the GoFundMe page, Mr Chiverton said: ‘A huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We can easily pay for Nicola’s new wheelchair now and not only that but the Portsmouth FC Disabled Supporters Association will also be getting a cheque for at least £700.
‘I will be leaving this open until Friday evening before ensuring funds are distributed to the relevant parties.
‘Thank you everyone, what a club we have.’
Donate to the cause at gofundme.com/f/replacement-wheelchair-for-pompey-fan-nicola