FRASER Franks has reiterated his thanks to Newport County AFC and the club’s fans after it was revealed that a special shirt in honour of the former defender has raised £14,500 for him and his family.

Around 290 fans have each paid £50 to have their name printed on the Exiles’ new third shirt to support Franks following his enforced retirement from the game due to a heart issue.

And the 28-year-old, who celebrated the birth of his daughter Nellie with wife Stacy in May, was full of praise for County when he spoke to Talk Sport’s Jim White yesterday.

“Newport have been brilliant with me,” said Franks.

“They’ve honoured my contract, which they didn’t need to.

“They’ve also got a [new] third shirt, which fans have [paid to have] their names embossed on and the money is going to me and my family.

“So that’s given me a window [not to worry about money] because when you’re a League Two footballer you can go one or two years without work.

“Most of the time you live within your means.

“Your friends see you as this footballer who must be rich, but it’s not like that at all at League Two level.

“You need to win games to earn [more] money, you need to play games to earn [more] and things like the FA Cup are massive because you can pay off a few things with [bonuses from] that.”

South Wales Argus:

County will also take on Chelsea under-23s in a pre-season friendly at Spytty Park on Wednesday, July 24 (kick-off 7pm) and the proceeds of that match will be donated to Franks.

The London-born centre-back started his career as a youth at Chelsea and also played for Brentford, AFC Wimbledon, Welling United, Luton Town and Stevenage before moving to Rodney Parade on a two-year deal last summer.

He was advised to retire by medical experts as a result of a heart issue, which was discovered when he fell ill after the 4-1 win at Notts County in February.

South Wales Argus:

Meanwhile, former Exiles loan player Cameron Pring (above) has joined League Two rivals Walsall.

The left-back made 10 appearances for Michael Flynn’s men between September and December last year before returning to parent club Bristol City and then moving on to hometown club Cheltenham Town on loan.

Pring has now agreed to join Walsall, who were relegated from League One in May, on a season-long loan deal.

"I’m buzzing to be here,” said the 21-year-old, who is Walsall's seventh signing of the summer.

“It is a big club and I am really looking forward to getting going now that I am here.

“I will be looking to pick up as many minutes as possible and keep my spot in the team – that’s the biggest goal of mine.

“I am quick and like to get up and down the wing, attacking rather than just defending and sitting back. I would say I am a powerful presence in the team as well.

“Game time is crucial at this stage of your career. I’m 21 so it’s the perfect time to head out on loan again.

“Coming in early during pre-season allows me plenty of time to get to know everyone, hopefully I can do well here.”

New Walsall boss Darrell Clarke said: “Cameron is robust and is going to add quality in the left-back area.”

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