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Soccer ace boosts 'smiley' Marley's goal

Premier league striker is the guest of honour at fundraiser

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

Soccer ace boosts 'smiley' Marley's goal

SOUTHAMPTON striker Charlie Austin helped boost a little Hungerford girl’s goal of walking, at the weekend.

The former John O’Gaunt School pupil returned to his old stomping ground as guest-of-honour at a fundraiser for Marley Clough-Culliford, who was born with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.

The condition means that the two-year-old’s hips are dislocated and she can’t sit, crawl or walk independently. 

Her family are raising money for an Innowalk device, which will assist, guide and help Marley with her movement, stimulate motor function and reduce the need for future surgery. 

A fundraising day at Kintbury Football Club on Sunday featured a knockout rounders tournament, face-painting, a barbecue, cake stall, raffle and tombola along with many other activities. 

Marley’s mother Nicki said: “Charlie Austin was absolutely fantastic.

“The kids loved him – and so did the grown-ups, some of whom got a chance to try to save some shots from him in goal.

“The whole day went brilliantly and about 300 people turned up.

“It was just amazing and we’d like to thank everyone who took part, baked a cake or donated. We raised £1,606.97 which is a huge leap forward towards our goal.”

The family is aiming to raise £13,180 for the Innowalk for Marley, whom her mother describes as an “energetic, happy, smiley and very social little girl...the life and soul of everything around her” and who refuses to let her condition define her.

The event was a return home for Charlie Austin, who played at the ground between 2006 and 2007, as well as a stint with Hungerford Town FC.

If you would like to boost the total, donations can be made at https://uk.gofundme.com/lets-get-marley-moving 

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