Fundraising appeal to bring Worksop teacher and Sheffield Wednesday fan home after death in Australia
Friends of a young Worksop teacher and Sheffield Wednesday fan who died tragically in Australia have launched a fundraising appeal to get him home to his devastated family.
His friends Down Under have set up a fundraising page to pay for his body to be returned home so his family in Worksop can give him the send-off he deserves.
More than £15,000 has already been donated but they want to raise more to ensure everything is taken care of for Sam’s family.
Sophie Welton, a close friend of Sam’s in Australia, who set up the appeal, said: “Sam, who was known to his friends as Sponge, was one of a kind.
“He was a loving individual, with a heart of gold, who was loved by everyone and was always putting others first and worrying about their happiness ahead of his.
“Teaching was his passion and he was working out here in a behavioural school for children who had been kicked out of other schools, where he was trying to get them on the right path.
“He loved football too and would go to every Sheffield Wednesday game, home and away. He had a big group of friends who went to every game and even when he was in Australia they would always ring him on their way to games.”
How are Sheffield Wednesday honouring Sam Fisher?
Sophie said Sheffield Wednesday fans were being asked to honour Sam with a minute’s applause in the 29th minute of the Owls’ match against Lincoln City at Hillsborough this Saturday, October 23.
She also told how Sheffield Wednesday defender Liam Palmer, who went to school with Sam, had sent an Owls shirt dedicated to him, with the words ‘RIP Sam ‘Sponge' Fisher’, which had been signed by the whole team.
Sophie said Sam had been in Australia for nearly two years on a working visa, having previously taught in China and at Prospect Hill Junior School in Worksop.
She told how he loved music, especially Oasis, and had an encyclopaedic knowledge of films.
“The amount of money that’s been donated in a few days and the lovely messages we’ve had show how well loved he was by so many people and what a nice, generous man he was,” she added.
“He had lots of plans for his future. He wanted to go to Qatar for the World Cup and teach there. He would have turned 30 next year and he wanted to go to Benidorm with the boys for that. He had so many plans but sadly not everything goes to plan.
“Sam loved life but then lockdown hit and I think it touched quite a few people and people started to struggle.
“He unfortunately suffered mental health issues, which had a major effect on his health and well-being. If you are struggling please speak to somebody and raise your concerns.”
To donate to the fundraising appeal, click here.
If you need to talk, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.