£16,500 and growing: Wolves fan who launched Jimenez crowdfunder 'blown away' by support

A Wolves fan who successfully crowdfunded a banner for injured striker Raul Jimenez has been "blown away" by the generosity of supporters.

Raul Jimenez of Wolves. Photo: AMA
Raul Jimenez of Wolves. Photo: AMA

The initial £7,500 fundraising target, set by Kieran Newey, 34, has more than doubled, with plans now in place to give the remaining cash to a charitable cause supported by the Mexican striker.

The banner, measuring 45m by 11m, will go to print on Monday ahead of Wolves' match against Aston Villa on December 12, where it will be hung from the top tier of the Steve Bull Stand at Molineux.

Jimenez, 29, was left with a fractured skull after clashing heads with Arsenal's David Luiz on Sunday. He has since undergone successful surgery.

Mr Newey, a lifelong Wolves fan, said he was left "heartbroken" at seeing Wolves' No 9 injured on the floor.

In response, he launched this supporter-led initiative which has invited fellow Wolves fans to create their own banner designs. The deadline for entries is 6pm on Thursday, after which the winner will be chosen in a poll.

Mr Newey, from Solihull, says Jimenez and his family have "taken the hearts of Wolverhampton". But he said donations have flooded in from around the world, from as far as Australia, the US and Jimenez's homeland of Mexico.

Shocked

He said: "When Raul had his incident on Sunday, I think it shocked most Wolves fans to the core. We have not had that kind of injury to one of our players in an absolute age.

"From there, we wanted to see if there was anything we could do. First of all, to bring a little bit of support for Raul inside the ground. It wasn't necessarily about fundraising for charity. But it has kind of snowballed from there really.

"I think this has struck a chord with so many people.

"When you see one of your own on the floor, and you know that you have got a young family, and he has taken to Wolverhampton hearts so much - and it really does feel like he is one of our own - it was horrible and heartbreaking to see him lying on the floor, not knowing what was happening.

"Everyone was fearing the worst but it is good that we have heard little bits and pieces from him now, and his partner Daniela."

Mr Newey said creating the banner has been "incredible", adding: "It has absolutely blown me away. We were hopeful we would just cover the costs but it has far exceeded our expectations.

"It has shown, again, what Wolves fans can achieve when we act as one."

Mr Newey's fundraising campaign has now reached more than £16,500.

To follow the campaign on social media, search for #9forRJ9. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/raul-banner

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