THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised to support the family of a popular Redditch rugby player who has suffered "life-changing" injuries.

Ashley Mooney, aged 29, was seriously injured during a rugby game earlier this month, where he broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord.

Mr Mooney, an on-call firefighter for Hereford and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service who also runs his own landscaping and roofing company, plays for Redditch Rugby Club and represents England in the fire service team.

Following the incident, he has lost the use of both hands and is paralysed from his chest down. Mr Mooney is currently at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on a ventilator.

He will later be transferred to a specialist spinal injury rehabilitation centre in Wales for further treatment, likely to last several months.

His wife Victoria Mooney, aged 35, said it's been a "traumatic" experience.

She said: "He's a wonderful man. We really don't know what the future is going to hold.

"The worst part is not being able to see him because of Covid restrictions."

Redditch Advertiser: Ashley Mooney on his wedding day Ashley Mooney on his wedding day

Both Ashley and Victoria, of Batchley, are self-employed and currently have no income following the incident. Mr Mooney's business, ASM Developments, is being organised by his father Sean and brother Luke in his absence.

A GoFundMe appeal was started on Saturday (October 9) by family friend Emily Shotbolt to help Mr Mooney's family financially. It's already raised more than £18k, with a target of reaching £20k. 

The Oust House pub is holding a raffle for him, with tickets available at the bar.

Reacting to the outpouring of community support, Victoria Mooney added: "I'm overwhelmed but not surprised because he's such a popular person. He would do anything for anyone.

"The messages we have received have been absolutely wonderful. I spoke to Ashley about it and he's really surprised about the response."

Mr Mooney celebrates his 30th birthday on Wednesday (October 13), and Mrs Mooney will be visiting him in hospital.