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Gary Lineker donated the final £3000 needed so Doncaster Rovers Belles player Sophie Scargill could afford her surgery after getting injured.
Scargill was injured in September when she ruptured the lateral meniscus ligament and caused damage to her ACL and LCL during a training session.
The club, part of the League One team Doncaster Rovers, are an amateur fourth tier team and wouldn't help the captain pay for her surgery, after she was told she would have to wait two years on the NHS and it could spell the end of her career.
Scargill started a Crowdfunding page in order to help raise the £5000 she needed.
The 26-year-old had reached £2,128 on Friday, thanks in part to Rovers players James Coppinger, Ben Whiteman and Matty Blair, when Lineker paid the remainder.
Posting on the Just Giving page, the Match of the Day presenter wrote, "I see you need another £3000. It’s my pleasure to help. Hope you’re back playing soon."
Incredible gesture by @GaryLineker to cover the rest of the fee needed for @donnybelles club captain @sophies_8 to have the knee surgery which will save her career. Shame it’s come to this but we’ll played, Gary 👏 pic.twitter.com/5LEKPn9yyh— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) October 15, 2021
The Rovers Belles player, who is also a commercial executive for Doncaster Rovers, took to social media to thank the former England striker.
"Wow. Speechless. Can’t quite believe any of this," she said on Twitter.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has so generously helped me reach my target.
"Gary Lineker your unbelievable donation means I can now start my recovery process."
Wow. Speechless. Can’t quite believe any of this.— Sophie Scargill (@sophies_8) October 15, 2021
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that has so generously helped me reach my target.@GaryLineker your unbelievable donation means I can now start my recovery process.@JayMitchinson @NWestbyYPSport thank you ☺️ https://t.co/dUdzfNf7DN
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, before her funding had been completed, Scargill said, "I was told I had insurance but that was only £250 and doesn’t even cover the MRI scan which was £350.
"I’m not bashing the NHS at all, but I wouldn’t be able to wait two years for the surgery because my mental health would be on the floor. When the doctor said it would massively increase the chances or never playing again, I panicked and went private, then realised I don’t have the £5,000.
"Lots of people told me to do crowdfunding so I didn’t have to take out a loan."
She was then offered a £5,000 loan from the club but had already made over £2,000 so decided to carry on.
'D.Rose' has also donated another £2,500 since Lineker's donation.
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