Lionel Messi: Barcelona and Argentina star donates signed shirt for hit-and-run victims

Messi signed shirt
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi has scored 517 goals in 653 appearances for Barcelona and Argentina

Barcelona's Lionel Messi has donated a signed shirt to raise funds for two former non-league footballers who were victims of a hit-and-run driver.

Former Newmarket Town player Shaun Whiter lost both his legs when he was hit helping his friend Joey Abbs to change a tyre near the Suffolk town. Abbs suffered a serious leg injury.

Cambridge United will host a Football Family Day on 9 October to raise funds.

Messi's shirt and one from team-mate Arda Turan will be auctioned off.

Wayne Rooney and John Terry have also donated signed shirts, as well as the first teams of Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham, and the England senior squad.

Newmarket Town, Soham Town Rangers, Cambridge City and Fulbourn Institute - teams for whom the pair played - will take part in a mini-tournament at the League Two club's stadium as one of a number of activities on the day.

"I can't thank Lionel Messi and Arda Turan enough for donating their shirts and getting them to Cambridge," Whiter told BBC Look East.

"We're going to auction them off and see what we can get."

Shaun Whiter
Shaun Whiter hopes to walk down the aisle at his wedding in July 2017

Jan Adamec, 40, from Haverhill, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing injury by dangerous driving and was jailed earlier this month for three years and four months.

And Whiter, who has previously said he would like to compete at the 2020 Paralympics, spoke of the bond between him and Abbs following the incident.

"He's a great friend. I've asked him to be one of the ushers at my wedding next year. He made that call that night to the paramedics to save my life," he added.

"He saved my life and I can't repay him any more than with my friendship and support him through this time as well."

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