A FUNDRAISER set up for a Redditch rugby player who suffered life-changing injuries has raised over £40,000.

Ashley Mooney, aged 30, was seriously injured during a rugby game in October 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.

A GoFundMe appeal was started on Saturday, October 9 by family friend Emily Shotbolt to help Mr Mooney's family financially.

Since then, many charity events have been held to support the fundraiser and several rugby clubs have donated to the cause.

Thanks to the generosity of the Redditch community and further afield, the fundraising total sits at nearly £40,700.

The Voyagers, a charity who assist injured sportsmen and woman donated £5,0000 to the fund.

A comedy night was hosted at Redditch Rugby Club on October 28, which raised over £2,500.

The Oast House in Redditch raised £4,600 after hosting a raffle and charity night.

Keresley Rugby Club donated £710 and Upton Upon Severn Rugby Club donated £500.

Ashley’s wife, Victoria Mooney said: “We are so surprised that so much money has been raised.

“We never imagined it would reach that amount! Ashley and I cannot begin to express how grateful we are to everyone that has donated.

“Ashley is loved by so many and despite his long journey ahead he knows how much support he has around him and waiting for him when he can return home to us.”

It is likely that Mr Mooney's treatment at a specialist spinal injury rehabilitation centre in Wales will last several months.