Mercury Series - Making A Difference
Alfredo Mousinho-Esteves and Fernhill Football Club are hosting a charity football game on August 4 to support a three-year-old boy involved in a double fatality car accident in April.
Jake Price, of Bomaderry, is likely to be in hospital for at least six more months as he undergoes rehabilitation after sustaining spinal, chest and other injuries.
He is at Randwick Children's hospital and his prognosis for ever being able to walk again is not good.
When Mousinho-Esteves heard about the story from friend Amanda Coleman he spoke to Fernhill Football Club about holding a family friendly football match to raise money.
It agreed to donate the ground and profits from the canteen.
The Together4Jake charity match will start at 6.30pm.
All money raised will go to support Jake's family with ongoing medical expenses for his recovery and a wheelchair.
Mr Mousinho-Esteves said A-League referee Strebre Delovski and many other State League and Premier League players had already supported the day.
They included names such as Shane Lyons, of Dandaloo, Illija Prenzoski, of Tarrawanna, Mark Picciolini, of Wollongong Olympic, Fabien Cappetta and Daniel Atkins, of Albion Park, Daniel Pisani, of Corrimal Rangers, and Julian Cesta, of Fernhill.
Other players include Glen Saville, Rob Beaumont, Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte and Bulli coach Ben Smith.
"All of us at some point in life need a hand," Mr Mousinho-Esteves said.
"When I heard about this situation ... I just text messaged everyone and all of them wanted to play."
Mr Cesta said there had been overwhelming support from the football community.
"As soon as the Facebook page went up ... a lot of people responded straight away," he said. "We had had 90 people say they were attending last week and it is growing every day."
Grandparents Jayne Omeara and John Rich met Mr Mousinho-Esteves to find out more.
Mr Rich is not a football player but will get the opportunity to kick off during the charity match on the bank holiday.
He got a few tips on Friday and will be doing his best for Jake.
"He is going to be in hospital a long time," Mr Rich said.
"They are putting him through stages now where they are taking him out of bed and sitting him in a wheelchair for an hour. He has got a stretching of the spinal cord and there is nowhere in the world where they can repair it."
Jake's mother Sarah Omeara is constantly at his bedside. She is already being taught how to put Jake into and out of a wheelchair.
She is unlikely to be able to work for several years when he eventually comes home to live with his mum and big sister Indy, aged 5.
Mr Rich found out about the charity football match last week from workmate Lance Mason, who was running a fund-raiser dinner at the Portofino on August 29.
And there is also another function in Nowra on August 30.
Mrs Omeara said the charity match was a very nice surprise.
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