French football star Kylian Mbappe has donated £27,000 to a fundraising appeal set up by the family of missing pilot David Ibbotson.
Mr Ibbotson, from Crowle, Lincolnshire, was flying Cardiff City’s Emiliano Sala from Nantes to the UK when their plane crashed near Guernsey on 21 January.
The footballer’s body was recovered from the wreck on the seabed, but Mr Ibbotson’s body has not been found.
Former England captain Gary Lineker has also donated £1,000.
By Sunday evening more than 7,000 donations had been received, pushing the total raised to more than £130,000 of the page’s £300,000 target.
World Cup winner and Paris St-Germain forward Mbappe, whose full name is Kylian Mbappe Lottin, donated under the name Elie Lottin.
Lineker linked to the page from his Twitter feed, saying: “Here’s the Go Fund Me page should you wish to help this poor family”.
The light aircraft was en route from France to Cardiff when it crashed two days after the Argentine striker’s £15m transfer to the Bluebirds was announced.
An official search was called off on 24 January, but Sala’s body was found after an appeal launched by his agent raised £324,000 (371,000 euros) for a private search.
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Launching their own appeal, Mr Ibbotson’s family wrote: “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.”
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