Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan donates £15,000 to Australian bushfire relief

Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan
Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan made five saves against Everton on Saturday

Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan will donate 28,000 Australian dollars [about £15,000] to a wildlife rescue fund in Australia after 56 saves were made in the Premier League this weekend.

The Australian pledged to donate A$500 Australian dollars per save to Wires Wildlife Rescue in response to the bushfire crisis in his home country.

Ryan made five saves himself, the joint second most of the weekend, in Brighton's 1-0 defeat by Everton.

He is one of a number of Australian sports stars, including cricketer Shane Warne, helping raise funds to fight the massive fires.

Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel made the most saves of the weekend with seven, while Burnley's Nick Pope, Tottenham's Paulo Gazzaniga, and Aston Villa's Orjan Nyland all made five saves along with Ryan.

Ryan said on Instagram on Friday: "In light of the devastation caused by the bushfires back home, I'm donating 500 Australian dollars for every registered save by all Premier League goalkeepers across every Premier League fixture for this weekend.

"I've chosen to donate to the Wires wildlife rescue emergency fund. Thank you to all for your support thus far and as a nation we really do appreciate your gratitude and generosity.

"However, there continues to be homes lost, lives of both people and animals lost or in danger, along with whole communities, businesses and more. I hope we can continue in the same manner and continue to encourage and influence people into raising money for those affected."

Bushfires are still burning in South Australia, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria.

At least 27 people have died. According to NSW Rural Fire Service, more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed so far during this fire season.

Fires have merged to create a mega-blaze, covering more than 640,000 hectares of land.

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