AFC Fylde would like to provide the following update to supporters and show our full support to Chris Neal, partner Emma and family at this difficult time. 

In recent months, it was said to supporters that goalkeeper Chris Neal was unavailable for selection due to family reasons before Emma gave birth to a baby boy, Zachary Christopher Neal, on the 5th of December 2021 at Arrowe Park Hospital. 

After entering the world prematurely, Zach was placed into intensive care, where he spent months fighting for his life with Chris and Emma by his side every day.

Despite the best efforts of Zach and the magnificent Neonatal staff at Arrowe Park, Zach sadly passed away on Friday 15th April 2022. 

In what has been an unimaginable tough period, Chris & Emma have been supported by several charities, and a GoFundMe page has been set up in memory of Zach in the hope of raising funds for the amazing work they carry out and much-needed facilities at the hospital.

Ronald McDonald: Provided the family with accommodation so they could be as close as possible to Zachary without the need to leave the hospital.

Claire House: Provided a range of support to Chris & Emma throughout their journey and arranged the facilities for Zach to be brought home so that the family could spend time with him before the service. 

Neonatal Unit at Arrowe Park Hospital: The hospital is in desperate need of a new unit, and raising money for the Neonatal Unit will contribute towards acquiring the essential funds to build a new unit, which they so desperately need.

The two charities and the Neonatal Unit deserve every single penny that is donated for the magnificent work they carry out daily, and for the support they have provided to the Neal family during this time.

We ask that in memory of Zachary, donations are generously made by clicking the link below, and no matter how big or small, every single penny is hugely appreciated.

All our thoughts are with Emma, Chris & family at this incredibly difficult time, and may Zach now rest in peace.