Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Emile Baron has been handed a timely boost with news that football fans in Norway have raised nearly R2-million for him.
The 43-year-old, who spent five years in the country with Lillestrøm SK, is living in poverty, having been evicted from his apartment and relying on handouts to feed his family.
TimesLIVE reports that, after seeing Baron’s heartbreaking story on Norwegian channel TV2, in which he admitted to trying to end his life multiple times, a fundraising drive was started to help the goalkeeper, who also played for Hellenic, Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits in South Africa.
“At the moment almost 1.1 million Kroner has been raised to help Emile Baron after Norwegian TV2 published a story about his difficult life in South Africa,” Lillestrøm communications head Morten Stokstad told TimesLIVE.
“The initiative came from our supporters, 'Kanari-Fansen', but the club has also been working with the supporters on it. It's pretty amazing. Of course, many of the contributors are fans of Lillestrøm, but many people from other clubs have also contributed.”
Stokstad added that they have roped in former Premier Soccer League CEO Kjetil Siem to help with distributing the funds to Baron in a responsible manner.