A BT Sport presenter sparked a surge of donations to a father raising cash in memory of his daughter after spotting the appeal on the back of a jumper at a football match.
Host Jake Humphrey was watching the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday when he spotted a man wearing a brown hoodie with a GoFundMe appeal for Nine4Norah printed on his back.
In a series of tweets the presenter said he researched the appeal and said he unexpectedly found himself “shedding a little tear” in the middle of the match between Wolves and Watford.
Thousands in minutes. Bloody massive thanks you lovely lot. Youâve just done a great thing xxxxxx— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) April 7, 2019
The appeal was set up by Ross Coniam who is attempting nine challenges this year to raise cash for charities in memory of his daughter Norah who died hours after being born.
After Mr Humphrey posted a link to the fundraising site on Twitter the appeal was flooded with donations, smashing its £6,000 target and reaching more than £8,600 by Sunday night.
Mr Humphrey said: “Today, whilst watching the game from our presenting position, I was drawn to a spectator with a message on his back.
“I did a bit of research, and unexpectedly found myself shedding a little tear in the middle of an FA Cup semi-final!
“I’ve worked out who the gentleman was, and why he was wearing the top.
“I thought I’d share the above photos, but more importantly, this link to his GoFundMe page.
“We’ve never met, but his daughter lived for mere hours, and in 2019, he will strive to achieve great things in her name.
“So, wherever you are reading this, if you’re lucky enough to have kids…go cuddle them.
“And to you, Ross…I hope this helps somewhat with your efforts, I’m really sorry for your loss, and wish you so much love and luck with the remaining challenges.”
The Nine4Norah fundraising page was set up in December and before Mr Humphrey’s tweet it had raised £3,058 from 87 donors.
But within hours of the tweet more than 400 people had given more than £5,500.
On the GoFundMe page Mr Coniam said Norah was born on May 29 last year weighing 8lbs and was “just perfect; the most beautiful little dot we had ever laid eyes on, it was love at first sight”.
But he said the “brief moment of ecstasy soon turned into a nightmare” when the infant showed no signs of life and did not breathe for the first 18 minutes of her life.
Mr Coniam wrote: “After just nine hours and 56 minutes with us, Norah spread her wings and joined the other angels in the sky.
“Her last 30 minutes were the most precious of our lives, my wife and I having cuddles with her, with no machines or wires keeping her alive.
“I will never forget how beautifully calm and peaceful those minutes were, just the three of us, even though we knew they would be our first and last with Norah alive in our arms.”
The challenges Mr Coniam will attempt include the London Marathon, the Isle of Wight 106km Ultra Challenge, the London to Brighton Bike Ride and Three Peaks Challenge.
He is raising cash for stillbirth and neonatal death charities SANDS and 4Louis, the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust and Keech Hospice Care.
To donate visit uk.gofundme.com/nine4norah