FORMER Colchester United defender Lewis Kinsella has thanked everyone who donated to his cause after making a long-awaited comeback.

The 26-year-old, who made 29 appearances for the U's between 2016 and 2018, returned after seven months out with a serious knee injury when he featured as a substitute for Aldershot Town in their match at Notts County.

He replaced Joel Nouble, younger brother of Colchester loanee Frank Nouble, in the 84th minute of their 1-0 win in the National League match.

The likes of England star Jack Grealish - who played with Kinsella in the youth set-up at Aston Villa - and former Colchester full-back Ben Coker contributed to the GoFundMe page, which initially had a target of £10,000 for the operation and rehab.


Kinsella has set up the fund to ease the financial burden on the non-league club, after they paid the cost of surgery.

Grealish donated £2,000 and in the end, a total of £12,200 was raised and Kinsella is now back out on the pitch.

Writing on Twitter, he said: 'So happy to be back on the pitch massive thank you to everyone who donated to help me get back and everyone who has helped me over the last 13 months can’t wait for more'.

Kind-hearted ex-U's defender Coker also donated and Kinsella added: "A guy called Ben Coker who plays for Stevenage who I've hardly come across or spoken to before messaged me about his injuries and donated some money as he has had his own problems before.

"It shows how close the football world is. It means the world to me."

Kinsella ruptured his medial collateral ligament in a victory over Ebbsfleet United, last September.

The defender was at Aston Villa’s academy with Grealish and the pair played together at various age group levels, at Villa Park.