JACK DEAMAN said that he felt 'compelled' to raise money for a three-year-old girl whose family are fundraising for an operation to help her walk.

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.

Hereford FC defender Deaman met Lilac at his daughter's nursery and though he had to help with an awareness campaign which has seen Hereford fans raise hundreds of pounds and he also carried her out with the team before Saturday's game.

"I jumped on board after finding out about her story in November, if anybody reads the story they will realise how touching it is," said Deaman

"That's exactly what happened with me and just starting speaking to the parents who have both become really good family friends with us. Anything that I can do I felt compelled to help and today was about raising awareness for her. She is the sweetest little girl in the world.

"We are nearly at the target which is the positive and some of the fans were donating last night. The feedback was instant, I just implore people to look at her story and her family are very grateful for the help we and the football club have given.

It was Deaman's first Bulls start since January and he replaced the absent Ryan Green who was out with a slight injury.

"It's been a little bit of time and frustrating for every player when they're not in the team but the lads have been doing brilliantly with six clean sheets so it was always going to be difficult to come back in," added Deaman.

"It's tough competition and we have got a very strong squad which is always the case when you're at a team challenging for promotion. There is competition for every place and it's what people have got to thrive on."

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