Wonderful Portsmouth family come to rescue of ex-Blues defender to fund career-saving operation after horror injury at Charlton
Sam Magri has been stunned by the generosity of the Pompey family as he seeks to raise £12,500 for a career-saving operation.
The Hawks defender is battling to play again after being stretchered off at Charlton in the FA Cup in November.
The ex-Pompey player ruptured his ACL and tore posterior and lateral meniscus in his left knee following the freak second-half incident after his foot became stuck in The Valley turf.
With a specialist unable to see him on the NHS until April – and surgery unlikely until September – Magri has been forced to go private.
The operation, booked in for January 13, could see him return by October.
However, the Copnor-based family must find £12,500 to meet medical bills, with wife Ellie still on maternity leave following the birth of their second child three months ago.
And ex-England youth international Magri has been touched by the support received from people from his city.
He told The News: ‘I am so grateful to everyone, we never expected people to support me like this when we started the campaign.
‘What happened was a freak accident, one of those things. I was attempting to close down the winger, trying to change direction, when my knee just gave way, I heard it pop twice and I was stretchered off.
‘Nobody was near me. My foot was planted and my knee twisted, rupturing my ACL, tearing both meniscus at the root and sustaining an impact fracture where the bones hit each other.
‘I tried the NHS, but, because of coronavirus, couldn’t get to see a consultant until April, with maybe another five months after that for an operation.
‘Unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing until 2023 if I waited that long. I lost a year of my career because of coronavirus, I don’t want to lose another year through waiting on the NHS.
‘Going private, depending on how the operation goes, I could be back between nine months to a year, so I’m actually looking at a return in September or October.
‘Unfortunately it’s a lot of money and I play for a non-league club. I still have a mortgage to think about, we have two children aged three and below, and my wife is on maternity leave.
‘It’s really good how people have responded to the campaign – we appreciate it so much. I’m incredibly grateful.
‘Hopefully we can get as close as possible to the £12,500 figure.’
Joining Jed Wallace in donating have been ex-Hawks team-mate Alfie Rutherford, the wife of former Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin, and ex-Pompey assistant kitman Clark Denford.
Magri’s club, the Hawks, have also donated, while supporters organised a collection at today’s match with Dorking.
In addition, the National League South club have extended Magri’s playing deal, which had been scheduled to expire in the summer.
Magri added: ‘Since I’ve been injured, the Hawks have given me another year, which is really good of them.
‘I was playing regularly so hoped I could get a new deal, but you never know, they didn’t have to do that.’
To donate to Magri’s fundraising campaign visit https://gofund.me/ea845019
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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