Steelers fans come forward to fundraise for player’s Ukrainian family

17 March 2022

Sheffield Steelers have raised £9k within a day to help a player’s family who just fled from Ukraine.

Martin Latal, 33, a Steelers winger, has been helping his wife’s family who had just left Ukraine due to the war.  

The club made the decision of raffling off Latal’s shirt last Friday. In less than eight hours after the announcement, all 5,000 raffle tickets were sold out.

A profile picture of Martin Latal.

Latal expressed his gratitude in a press statement. He said: “When I call them and tell them that the people in the UK and Sheffield help so much they can’t believe it.” 

David Simms, a spokesperson from the Steelers told Shefnews: “I’m not surprised that our fans donated such a lot of money in a short period of time, because historically I find our fanbase has always stepped forward when they needed to.”

Latal’s wife’s family had arrived in his hometown Mlada Boleslav, Czechia, which is an hour away from the country’s capital. Despite having a temporary apartment to live in, they were not fully settled in.

The money raised will be used on the family’s immediate care and future requirements, such as accommodation, food, clothes, heating and wellbeing.

Aside from the fans and Sheffield residents, a lot of people from other parts of the country also took part in this fundraiser.

Mr Simms said: “It shows that despite our trivial rivalries with all the clubs in the sports events, something is a little bigger.”

Martin Latal celebrates scoring against Belfast Giants’. (Photo by Photo by Darren Kidd/Presseye)

The winger joined the team a year ago. Prior to that, he was a professional player for 15 years back at his home country. Since his debut, he has become one of the most popular players among fans.

Mr Simms said: “This is where the affection, attraction and connection from the fans come from.”

Latal will give away his shirt on ice at Steelers’ next home game against the Manchester Storm, which is scheduled for next Sunday.

The club is exploring different opportunities with its sponsors at the moment for additional fundraising for Latal and his family with more fundraisers to be announced in the near future.

Written by Helen Hui

My name is Helen (she/her), and I am an aspiring journalist in the University of Sheffield who was born and raised in Hong Kong. As an ethnic minority I want to raise awareness of underrepresented groups in our society and reveal social injustice. One of my greatest goals is to travel around to explore what is happening in different countries. Often the news we see only covers a small fraction of our world, which leads to misunderstanding, prejudice and stereotypes. I would like to share my experiences and provide a brand-new point of view of this world we live in. Besides, I am fond of pop cultures, such as current beauty trends, music and celebrities. I am also a big fan of photography, film especially.

You May Also Like…

Written by Helen Hui

My name is Helen (she/her), and I am an aspiring journalist in the University of Sheffield who was born and raised in Hong Kong. As an ethnic minority I want to raise awareness of underrepresented groups in our society and reveal social injustice. One of my greatest goals is to travel around to explore what is happening in different countries. Often the news we see only covers a small fraction of our world, which leads to misunderstanding, prejudice and stereotypes. I would like to share my experiences and provide a brand-new point of view of this world we live in. Besides, I am fond of pop cultures, such as current beauty trends, music and celebrities. I am also a big fan of photography, film especially.
Skip to content