The power of community.
Just 12 hours after the club setup an online appeal to help pay their fine by FIFA, local soccer club Kilrea United's future is now safe.
The amateur club met on Wednesday night to discuss their 10,000 CHF (Swiss Francs) fine issued and within an hour of the page going online, there was £3,000 in the kitty.
By 10.00am on Thursday, the magic target of £8,500 was reached, and has risen to over "£10,000.
"Kilrea United Football Club would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated," read a statement on their social media.
"Any further money that is donated will be given to charity. Again, we can't thank you enough."
The fine follows an eligibility dispute over teenager Pierce Worrall-Hill, dating back to the 2018/19 season and a move from youth team Bertie Peacocks.
At the time, Kilrea were hit with a nine-point deduction, which cost the club their Coleraine and District League title.
They were then 'shocked' when the were later hit with a fine, which is the equivalent of £8,330, putting their club's existence in danger.
FIFA's article 57.1, in their Disciplinary Code, highlights any admissibility of appeals and any fines under 15,000 CHF could not be appealed.
"We are just in shock and can't believe it. We are in limbo and pondering our options," Chariman Davy Shiels told the County Derry Post yesterday.
At the club's Wednesday night meeting, they decided to start up a funding page, which has now ensured their future is safe.
Pierce Hill-Worrall was the first person to contribute, with other players and committee members chipping in to save their club.
It gathered momentum. The local Pearses GAA club and local businesses contributed, with neighbouring Dunloy FC pledging more than half the profits of a lottery bonus ball fundraiser to help.
It comes just weeks after the GAA club raised a staggering £25,000 for Chest, Heart and Stroke with their 24-hour relay.
- Local clubs leave a legacy. More...
- Kilrea's Celtic connection. More...
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com at any time.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from Derrynow.com
Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.