A young sports photographer has raised more than £6,000 in a week after his camera equipment was stolen at a football match.
Micah Crook, from London, told Get West London his equipment disappeared from the press room at Fulham Football Club before their FA Cup third round match against Southampton on Saturday (January 6).
The 20-year-old said the theft happened at Craven Cottage, Fulham FC's ground.
Mr Crook, an AFC Wimbledon supporter, worked as a freelance photographer for the Dons between March 2015 and September 2017.
The theft meant he was unable to photograph Wimbledon's match against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley the next day.
It could also affect his studies as he requires his equipment for his course at Falmouth University, where he is studying press and editorial photography.
If his equipment is not returned or replaced, he will also miss out on photographing the Commonwealth Games this April in Brisbane, Australia.
Mr Crook, who funded his camera kit by working on a fruit stall since he was 15-years-old, has set a target of £8,000 to pay for new equipment.
The community has quickly backed his appeal, donating an incredible £6,220 of the £8k goal, in just six days.
The Islington resident spoke about the theft. He said: "I got there at 1.30pm and went into the ground.
"I signed in at the media desk, went into the photographers' room and dropped all my camera gear in there because it's safe and secure, and went to grab a bit to eat.
"I went back to the photographers' room to get my gear and set up pitch-side and I couldn't find my gear.
"Someone's moved everything round I thought.
"So I checked around the room and it's not there. At that point there's a sort of urgency about the room, there's a massive panic.
"I got told 'maybe someone's taken it out on the pitch' because everyone's got the same massive camera suitcase.
"So I frantically ran round the pitch looking at everyone's gear and it's not there, so I let the media desk know."
The sports photographer has praised Fulham FC for their help following the incident.
He said: "In the aftermath of what happened Fulham have been absolutely amazing.
"The surveillance man who was looking at the footage took time finding the CCTV clips and playing them to me.
"There were three lenses in there, a couple of teleconverters, two camera bodies, a flash gun, memory cards and my laptop which is devastating.
"Thankfully all my images have been backed up so I haven't lost my whole archive of images.
"The support I've been getting is really amazing."
The hardworking student, who didn't have insurance for his camera equipment, said he was reluctant to set up a GoFundMe page but is grateful to those who have supported his appeal.
He continued: "I'm in full-time education and working but you can't just save up £8,000 to afford equipment so easily.
"It was naive of me not to have insurance. I know there are some people who think that it's possibly wrong for me to ask people as I'm aware no one owes me anything.
"I'm so grateful to everyone who has funded me, who has supported the campaign.
"AFC Wimbledon have supported the campaign and have raised awareness. A few of the players donated as well as fans from across the world.
"It is truly touching."
"Another person to thank is Stuart MacFarlane, Arsenal Football Club's club photographer, who has donated a camera body," Mr Crook said.
"To have them donate me a camera is truly amazing and remarkable and I can't thank Arsenal Football Club, but in particular him, enough."
A Fulham spokesman said: "A theft of photographic equipment occurred prior to the club’s fixture against Southampton earlier this month which is being investigated by the club internally and by the authorities.
"The club has kept in touch with Micah to provide a contribution to his funding and we hope that this incident has not discouraged him from carrying on with his passion for photography."
If you would like to donate to Micah's appeal, click here.
The theft has been reported to Met Police.
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