Axel digs deep as Academy campaign nears finishing line

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Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall

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It was meant to be Axel Herkes’ rainy-day fund.

Instead the three-year-old opted to hand over his £10.80 savings to the Pompey Academy fundraising initiative.

What’s more, the Denvilles youngster paid it all in five pences.

Herkes made the generous donation having ventured to Fratton Park to watch the players train earlier this week.

Attending with great auntie Lynne Bailey, the Blues-mad lad was treated to seeing his heroes in action at the one-off event.

He was also accompanied by his savings, which were put into a bucket collection in aid of the Tifosy campaign.

Herkes is among more than 4,000 contributors to the FanFunding initiative which has now entered into its final week.

The total is approaching £200,000 but the clock is ticking to meet the £250,000 target within the scheduled remaining five days.

It has been a mammoth effort from the Fratton faithful since the Academy scheme was unveiled on 
June 9.

Gianluca Vialli was present for the grand launch as ambassador for Tifosy, with Pompey the first Football League club to attempt such an ambitious FanFunding campaign.

The aim has been to construct two Academy pitches at the club’s new Roko training home, uniting the youth set-up with Andy Awford’s first team.

The money has continued to flood in from Blues supporters, with a host of rewards on offer to those taking part.

A number of other football fans have also contributed, having recognised the worthiness of the cause, including followers of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.

In addition, ex-players John Sullivan and Jamie Ashdown have bought virtual turf along with many of the current playing staff such as Jack Whatmough.

But time is running out to reach that £250,000 figure before the deadline, with organisers hoping for one final push over the line to achieve the goal.

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