OPINION: The disarming moments football shows its human side

Happy Owls head coah Carlos Carvalhal
Happy Owls head coah Carlos Carvalhal
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Footballers, eh? They are all just greedy, money obsessed and work shy, more bothered about their million pound mansions and supercars than giving something back to the working class fans who stump up for their wage packets.

Well, that’s the cynical view.

But on the other hand, on occasion something wonderful happens in the sport that could only really be made possible inside the world of football.

The news that Hayley Kalinins, the 35-year-old wife of a Sheffield Wednesday fitness coach, is battling cancer will have devastated everyone within the club.

But when head coach Carlos Carvalhal got involved in fundraising towards the cost of specialist treatment, the donations just poured in.

Make no mistake, Carlos is a man who makes things happen.

Not only has he steered the Owls from mid-table obscurity in the Championship to genuine Premier League play-off contenders through the course of this season, his involvement in Hayley’s fundraising has kicked things off in a big way.

Hayley will need specialist treatment in the United States in a bid to extend her life.

But in just one week, family, friends and players have helped raise more than £50,000, with £10,000 coming in from Carlos’ former boss, Dubai-based Abdullah Al Naboodah.

This shows the strength of football’s network and the will of people within the game to make positive things happen.

In what other sphere could such people come together so quickly to raise such a massive amount of money?

Both Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United have strong community fundraising and charity links.

For all the criticism of the beautiful game, and the tidal wave of TV cash that pours in, we must applaud those who have got involved and helped make this happen for Hayley.

Then there is the generosity of The Star’s readership.

Every week, there are stories of fundraising challenges for worthy causes, and every week generous Star readers heed the call and dig deep, even in these financially straitened times.

So thank YOU, too, for your help - and if you want to donate towards the £250,000 Hayley needs to help extend her life, you can go to www.gofundme.com/6rhyr2nk to donate whatever you can.