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JA Gov’t donate £30,000 to footballer fighting for his life

PICTURED: Luton Shelton

LUTON SHELTON, a former Jamaican international footballer, will receive almost £30,000 from the government towards his medical expenses after it was revealed that he's suffering from a degenerative disease.

Shelton, who bagged 35 goals from 75 appearances for Jamaica's Reggae Boyz between 2003 and 2014, has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - a motor neurone disease.

The striker turned out a handful of times for Sheffield United during their brief stay in the Premier League, after joining from Swedish top-flight club Helsingborgs IF.

And United fans will undoubtedly remember him best for his farcial balloon-assisted goal that dumped Manchester City out of the FA Cup in 2008. He seized his chance brilliantly when defender Michael Ball was wrong-footed by the ball bobbling off a balloon in the box.

Shelton first came to prominence after making his debut as an 18-year-old for Harbour View FC in Jamaica's top tier, before he spent a season in Sweden.

Following his stint at Sheffield United he went on to represent Norwegian club Vålerenga then Turkish teams Karabükspor and Volga Nizhny Novgorod. He returned to Harbour View FC in 2017 but then he fell ill.

ALS causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. This results in worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size, and triggering difficulty speaking, swallowing and eventually breathing.

Shelton’s story only became public knowledge when Television Jamaica (TVJ) promoted a feature to be aired on October 18.

His sad story has since gone viral on social media, and duly caught the attention of sports minister The Honourable Olivia Grange.

She said: "I've been made aware of Luton’s illness through social media. No one's been directly in touch with me, but based on what I have seen I'm concerned - so I'm committing J$5million towards his medical expenses.

“I will ask the officers in the ministry to reach out to his family so that I can get further details.”

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