More than £120,000 donated to campaign to restart search for Sala’s pilot

More than £120,000 has been raised by a campaign to restart the search for the pilot of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala thanks to donations under the names of Gary Lineker and Kylian Mbappe.

A page raising funds to continue the search for David Ibbotson, who was flying the plane carrying the Argentine footballer when it crashed in the English Channel, was set up on Friday.

A donation under the name of broadcaster and former footballer Gary Lineker of £1,000 is registered on the page, which he shared with his 7.2 million Twitter followers on Saturday.

A £27,000 donation under the name Elie Lottin, apparently made by France’s World Cup winning footballer Kylian Sanmi Mbappe Lottin, is also registered.

The page has a fundraising target of £300,000.

The programme from Cardiff City’s 2-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth on February 2 with an image of Emiliano Sala on the cover (Mark Kerton/PA) 

A message on the site reads: “Please help bring David Ibbotson home and help give him the send off he deserves.

“As a family we are relying on the kindness of the good hearted people to help us raise the much needed funds to help us find our beloved Dad, Husband and Son.

“As a family we are trying to come to terms with the tragedy and the loss of two incredible men.

“To be told the search has now been called off for the foreseeable future has only made this tragic time more difficult.

“We can not bear the thought of him being alone, we need him home so that we are able to lay him to rest.”

Tributes at Cardiff City Stadium for Emiliano Sala (Aaron Chown/PA)

More than 7,000 people have donated on the fundraising page, with many posting messages of condolence to his family.

Steve Redding posted: “My wife and I were unhappy to see the search called off after only one person was found.”

Sala’s body was recovered in a privately-funded search which was launched after the initial search was called off three days after the men and their plane, which had been travelling from Nantes in France to Cardiff, went missing.

Although Mr Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been located, poor weather conditions meant a “difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close”, a spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said on Wednesday.

The aircraft remains underwater off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel.

- Press Association


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