Veteran centre Menzie Yere and his family face deportation back to Papua New Guinea – unless they can gain UK citizenship before December 19.
Fans of Sheffield Eagles have started a fundraising campaign to raise the money Yere, his wife Sandy and their two sons – who were both born in the UK – with an initial target of £5,000.
Yere, 35, has spent the past 10 seasons with the Eagles, scoring almost 200 tries in nearly 300 appearances, making him the club’s all-time record try scorer.
He missed the first half of last season due to visa issues, which were finally cleared in May.
The club’s board of Directors said in a statement: “The situation is urgent and pressing for Menzie. He is part of the club and will always be welcome regardless of if he is playing next season or not. He has been a fantastic servant over the past 10 seasons and his record speaks for itself.
“The club has supported Menzie and his family over those years with housing, financial assistance, numerous visa applications & much more.
“We have gone above and beyond for him, especially over the past two years and we will continue to support him in everyway we can.
“The club has been in touch with various organisations from Menzie’s Church, Local MP, Council and others for potential assistance which is unfortunately not forthcoming so it’s great that supporters are getting behind him and his bid to stay in the UK.”
Yere, who has played 15 times for his country, scored an Eagles club record 46 tries in the 2013 season.
To view and contribute to the fundraising campaign, click here.