A HEREFORD FC footballer is backing a fundraising campaign to raise money £80,000 to help a three-year-old girl walk and she will be mascot for the team's match on Saturday's.

Lilac Jackson was born critically ill at 34 weeks gestation. She had contracted sepsis and her organs were shutting down. She was on life support and her condition was touch and go.

Despite this she managed to pull through but at eight months old Lilac was falling behind in her milestones.

Soon after she was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and the family were told to prepare themselves that she might never walk.

Now three years old the her family from Bishop's Cleeve are raising money for an operation known as SDR which could change her life.

Sadly, it isn’t available on the NHS and it is followed by a minimum of 18 months intensive rehabilitation.

Her family like to adapt and modify their garden to create a safe environment for Lilac to participate in daily physiotherapy post operatively.

This will include daily use of her hot tub for hydrotherapy purposes, whatever the weather. With astro turf and a physio unit, they hope to create a warm, fun and inspiring area where Lilac can go from strength to strength after she has had SDR.

Hereford FC defender Jack Deaman met Lilac at his daughter's nursery and though he had to help.

"I first met Lilac at the same nursery my youngest daughter, Theadorah attends," Deaman said on Instagram.

"The first thing I noticed about Lilac was her infectious smile and happiness for life, followed by her k-walker.

"After reading about Lilac’s story in the Gloucestershire Echo and finding out about the families fundraising attempt, I felt compelled to help in anyway that I could.

"Four months later, nearly at our target, having made very close family friends and with a love for this special little girl, I’m now asking our fantastic fan base to help out.

"Lilac will be mascot in our upcoming game against Kings Lynn, where you will see her on the pitch with myself and all of the players.

"The following home again we will be doing a bucket collection in which I ask Hereford fans to dig deep and give generously to help Lilac reach her full potential.

"Our goal this season has been to gain promotion which we are in a great position to achieve. Lilac’s families goal is to have the operation which will allow her to walk independently and ultimately change her life.

"Hereford as a football club have been fantastic in supporting Lilac as soon as I approached them with her story.

"Along side having Lilac as mascot the club and I will auctioning my match worn FA Cup first round shirt vs Telford with all proceeds being donated to Lilac’s just giving page which you can find in my bio.

"We are all looking forward to having Lilac with us on Saturday where you will see first hand how heart warming she is and have the opportunity to welcome her as our latest fan.

"Please give as much as you can to help Lilac reach her full potential in life. Lilac, her family and I are enormously grateful, see you on Saturday."

See the Lilac's Little Legs Just Giving page here: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/lilacslittlelegs