Carlisle United fans have chipped in to a fund to support Barrow's Lewis Hardcastle who has been forced to retire at just 22.

The Blues' London Branch supporters club have contributed £250 to a crowdfunding initiative set up by Hardcastle's team-mate Brad Barry.

The captial-based United fans' donation has joined a huge show of support for Hardcastle, with the fund already having gone past the £10,000 mark.

It was confirmed in their latest newsletter that the London Branch had donated, as they also encouraged individual members to support the appeal.

Barry set up the fundraiser to support Hardcastle in his premature retirement which was caused by the discovery of a heart condition.

It has an initial target of £20,000 and is already more than halfway there after just four days.

Barrow's Bluebirds Trust have donated £2,767 with a host of supporters and Hardcastle's fellow players adding to the total so far.

Writing on the GoFundMe page, Barry said: "Lewis was a young athlete who had a very bright future in football but due to a heart condition he has been told he can’t compete anymore which is devastating news for him and his family.

"So I thought this money could help him proceed on with his next step or however he chooses to spend it.

"This guy worked so hard on himself to be the best athlete he could he was a role model for younger footballers and his attitude and love for the sport was an inspiration."

Hardcastle announced his decision to retire last week having been diagnosed with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy.

He said his doctor had advised him that to continue playing would put him at risk of cardiac arrest.

Hardcastle's south Cumbrian club have said they will do all they can to support him, while he has received supportive messages from across football.

Manchester United and England's Harry Maguire is among those to send their good wishes to the midfielder, who said on Twitter: "Want to say a massive thank-you to everyone that has donated. Some of the messages I’ve had have been truly incredible."

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