Fans start crowdfunding pot to pay medical bills of striker forced to retire after horrific car crash

CROWD-FUNDING fans have raised thousands of pounds for a footballer left with huge medical bills after a life-threatening car accident forced him to retire.

Dutchman Leon de Kogel’s first club FC Utrecht launched the campaign for the 27-year-old – six months after the giant striker shattered both his legs as a passenger in a horrific crash in Malta.

Leon de Kogel salutes FC Utrecht fans before his departure in 2015 - and now he has another reason to be grateful for their support after he was forced to retire
Leon de Kogel salutes FC Utrecht fans before his departure in 2015 – and now he has another reason to be grateful for their support after he was forced to retire
Getty – Contributor

De Kogel has reportedly struggled to get help from his insurers and treatment costs soared to tens of thousands of Euros.

The former Go Ahead Eagles and Deventer star only joined Spanish second-tier side UE Cornella on an 18-month contract in January this year.

And his injuries in the accident five months later were so serious it was initially feared he could die.

De Kogel was released from the Mater Dei hospital in Malta three days after the smash – returning to Utrecht for further intensive treatment.

Frontman Leon de Kogel also featured for Go Ahead Eagles, from 2015 to January this year
Frontman Leon de Kogel also featured for Go Ahead Eagles, from 2015 to January this year
Getty – Contributor
FC Utrecht and fans have already raised more than £7,500 to pay for Leon de Kogel's medical expenses after he needed extensive treatment for his shattered legs
FC Utrecht and fans have already raised more than £7,500 to pay for Leon de Kogel’s medical expenses after he needed extensive treatment for his shattered legs

Now the Dutch top-flight club are behind a fundraising drive that has so far raised more than 8,400 Euros – around £7,500 – with 32 days of the appeal left.

The club spearheaded their message with the words: “Leon de Kogel we have not forgotten you.”

And they continued: “Leon de Kogel was seriously injured this year by a serious accident in Malta and as a result, the former FC Utrecht attacker has already had to pay tens of thousands of euros in medical expenses.

Playing days seem over for Dutchman Leon de Kogel - six months after the crash in Malta
Playing days seem over for Dutchman Leon de Kogel – six months after the crash in Malta
Getty – Contributor
Leon de Kogel celebrates a goal for his first club FC Utrecht - but has now been forced to quit playing due to injuries from a car accident
Leon de Kogel celebrates a goal for his first club FC Utrecht – but has now been forced to quit playing due to injuries from a car accident
Getty – Contributor

“We as FC Utrecht want to help him to ease the pain and care and tell him that we have not forgotten him.”

Utrecht have the distinction of being the only club in Holland outside the “big three” of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven never to  have been relegated.

Now they might also be famed, in a smaller way, for their caring response to a player who left them as long ago as 2015.

Leon de Kogel only truned 27 last month but has had to make the decision to retire from playing
Leon de Kogel only truned 27 last month but has had to make the decision to retire from playing
Getty – Contributor

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