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Ipswich Town fans raise just under £1,000 for Elena Baltacha Foundation

The team of volunteers held a collection at Portman Road. Credit: Pavel Kricka

Ipswich Town fans have raised just under £1,000 for a charity which helps get children of all backgrounds into tennis.

The club gave permission for the Elena Baltacha Foundation to hold a collection at Portman Road ahead of the Championship clash against Aston Villa on Saturday.

A team of 28 volunteers, including 13 children, held donation buckets at various parts of the stadium - with supporters raising a total of £943.

The Elena Baltacha Foundation was set-up in honour of former British number one Elena Baltacha, who died from liver cancer in 2014.

Before her death, she set up her own academy with the aim of giving youngsters a chance to play tennis.

Ipswich players Cole Skuse and Andre Dozzell took part in a special tennis coaching session last week to promote the collection.

Elena Baltacha died in 2013. Credit: PA

“What an incredible effort from our Foundation friends at Ipswich Town FC, from Lindsay Farish-Carradice, Aaron Garwood and our Foundation team, and the devoted parents and players," Elena's husband and former coach Nino Severino said.

“This shows what can be achieved when we all pull together, raising an incredible £1,000.

“The added bonus was watching a very good game of football against Aston Villa.”