Sunderland striker Danny Graham donates £2,690 to career-saving operation for Gateshead midfielder

Danny Graham in action against Burnley.
Danny Graham in action against Burnley.
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GENEROUS Sunderland striker Danny Graham has dipped into his own pocket to donate £2,690 to help save a Gateshead midfielder’s career.

The Black Cats striker has given Gateshead’s JJ O’Donnell the money towards an operation on his foot after the midfielder was struck down with sesamoiditis, which is a rare injury to the foot.

The condition causes O’Donnell’s toes to inflame, making kicking a ball excruciating.

In a bid to get him back playing again, two Gateshead supporters launched an online campaign to fund the operation with the original aim of generating £5,000.

And Graham’s generous contribution has tipped the sum over the £7,000 mark, which is around the cost of the operation.

A delighted O’Donnell tweeted: “I’m not singling Danny out as without everybody donating I wouldn’t have ever reached my target, but a donation like that has left me speechless.

I’ve never met Danny but for him to put an astronomical amount like that towards a fund of a lad who he doesn’t know, speaks volumes of what a true gentleman he is

JJ O’Donnell, Gateshead midfielder

“I’ve never met Danny but for him to put an astronomical amount like that towards a fund of a lad who he doesn’t know, speaks volumes of what a true gentleman he is.

“Premier League players take a lot of stick about being role models but this shows just how much of a role model someone can be.

“I’m truly humbled and forever thankful.

“Hopefully I’m able to meet Danny and thank him personally for an incredible thing to do.”

The Go Fund Me page outlines the rare condition facing O’Donnell: “This injury is very rare and has unfortunately left him with only a 50/50 chance of playing football again.

“Gateshead Football Club have been funding his treatment but unfortunately due to managerial departures JJ’s treatment can no longer be funded.

“The club have spent an awful lot caring for JJ’s injury and JJ has praised and thanked the club for all of their help.”

To donate money towards his surgery visit http://www.gofundme.com/jjodonnell