A former Watford FC midfielder has auctioned off a prized football shirt to help a little girl travel to America for cutting-edge cancer treatment.

Amy Barrett was just eight years old when she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in June.

Due to its location at the base of her spine, surgery was not option, so she was told she must go to America for proton beam therapy.

Watford Observer:

Amy on her first day of proton beam therapy

Ex-Watford FC and England under 21s winger Nigel Callaghan heard about Amy’s battle when a friend asked him to play in a charity football match to help fund her treatment.

A cancer survivor himself, Nigel jumped at the chance to help, playing at Tamworth FC on Sunday alongside stars including Leicester City’s Marc Albrighton and former Danish international striker Jan Sorenson.

“I was fortunate to come out the other side after two operations for bowel and liver cancer. You never give up but I know how bad it is, and they are so brave,” he said.

“She is only eight. No kid should have to go through chemo treatments at such a young age.”

The match raised £2,500 but Nigel was not content with that, putting his number 7 shirt from his Watford days under the hammer to raise a further £550.

Watford Observer:

Nigel Callaghan's prized number 7 shirt

“It means a lot to me to be able to help. I’m not a millionaire like most footballers now are, but I am always willing to help anyone if I can,” he said.

“I’m proud the shirt raised that much, and will get involved with anyone else who feels I can help them in any way.”

He also thanked all of the Watford supporters who bid, adding: “Always and forever top fans. Come on you Hornets.”

Speaking to Amy in America via video link at the weekend, Nigel said the plucky eight-year-old was able to raise a smile and thank him for raising the money, despite having just undergone her first week of the proton therapy.

Amy’s father Dean added: “To donate such a treasured to raise funds is amazing. It means so much to us as a family to know that people want to help raise funds and awareness of such causes.

“Not only did he donate time and a gift, he gave us a word of hope and encouragement to fight and continue to fight with the help of those around us.

“We want to thank him for all he has done, and hope to personally meet him on our return with Amy so he can meet the little eight-year-old girl he has helped.”

If anyone wants to donate to help Amy in her fight against cancer, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gaye-smith