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Ella Squires

Ella Squires is crowdfunding

raised of £5,000 target by 69 supporters

Weʼre raising £5,000 to Children’s Intensive Care Unit (Barneintensiv Ullevål) of Oslo Universitetssykehus, Great Ormond Street Hospital & Beds Referee Society


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My name is Ella Squires and I’m a 19 year old female referee. As part of my refereeing journey, I was given the chance to referee at the Norway Cup in Oslo. It was my first time at the world’s largest youth football tournament and an opportunity to further grow and develop into a better referee. All was going well, and I was having an amazing experience until a freak accident where everything turned into a complete nightmare. I was in a foreign country and my parents were back home in the UK.  

While refereeing a U15s girls game I got hit in the abdomen by a stray pass at pace. I tried to carry on refereeing before coming off at half time in tears. At the time of the incident, I was completely unaware how serious this accident was and after seeking on site medical advice I was advised that I was winded and in shock and those symptoms would wear off in time. Having tried to get some rest I walked to meet some of the other referees for lunch, but a 10 minute walk took 20 minutes where I had to stop 3 times and arrived out of breath and felt really dizzy, this resulted in me having to sit down and drink some water. After feeling better, Dean (referee coach) and I walked over to the field medical centre where they did some checks and suggested that I had fractured some ribs and the severity of the impact would explain the dizziness and the best course of recovery would to be to rest. After diagnosis, we headed back to the accommodation to do just that, but because of the pain I was in I was unable to even go to the toilet as I felt so lightheaded and dizzy.  

Upon Dean’s return later that afternoon I told him that I was unable to get up to go to the bathroom so with his help to get up I was able to walk 20 metres before I collapsed. Dean picked me up and put me back in bed before seeking help for an ambulance where I was immediately rushed to Oslo Syd Lokalmedisinske Senter for further investigation, having spent several hours waiting to be seen due to the hospital prioritising other incidents that in their eyes were more serious, they assessed my abdominal injury but were reluctant to check for any reasons for the dizziness and wanted me to either go back to the school and rest, or stay at the hospital to be observed overnight. We weren’t happy with this option as I needed an explanation why I was feeling so dizzy. After several attempts to sit up on my own the doctors sat me up with the support of Dean so they could see what was happening. After 4-5 seconds of sitting upright I passed out, this is when they took the situation seriously and I was quickly moved upstairs to a treatment room. My blood pressure had dropped to 66/35 and they spent nearly an hour trying to find a vein so they could give me drip. After 3 different people tried to find a suitable vein, a senior doctor was eventually called to help as the severity of my dehydration and later discovered blood loss had resulted in my veins collapsing. Due to the emotional events of the whole incident all I wanted to do was sleep and I was now exhausted, and I really didn’t take in the severity of what they were doing to me. I do remember looking over at Dean on a few occasions and saying, ‘I’m scared’.  

 An ambulance was called, and I rushed across the city to the main trauma unit, Oslo Universitetssykehus. On my arrival I went straight into emergency surgery where they performed an ultrasound, CT scan and X-ray which showed a grade 3 splenic injury with a massive hemoperitoneum (internal bleeding in your peritoneal cavity) as I had been bleeding out for 18 hours by this point, a peritoneocentesis was performed, which drained a total approximately 3 litres of blood over the course of the following 24 hours. This resulted in me to having several blood transfusions (4 bags of blood and 3 bags of plasma).  

 During my time in the surgery room, I remember talking to one of the anaesthetists and saying ‘I’m scared’ and asking how long the surgery would take, all while holding her hand for reassurance. I was given a local anaesthesia for the surgery but because I had been up for over 24 hours, I was so tired because of the trauma I had gone through, I fell asleep through the whole thing. I was in surgery for a total of 3 hours where they performed a coil embolization on my ruptured spleen, this surgery saved my life.  

 My recovery is only just getting started and it honestly wouldn’t be possible without any of the medical professionals at the hospital for whom, I will be forever grateful, and they will always be in my memories and heart.  

As such - My dad, Paul Squires and referee coach, Dean Carney have decided as a way of saying thank you to the medical team in Oslo that they will cycle from The Bedfordshire FA Cranfield location to Oslo, Norway with a plan to arrive on the opening day of the 2024 Norway Cup.  

The Charity Cycling Challenge will be a 13 day cycle (Scandinavian weather permitting)

The plan and route will be: (Over 1,000 miles)

Day 1 - O2 arena to Folkestone (71 miles, 7 hrs) before getting the eurotunnel to Calais.

Day 2 - Calais to Brugge (71 miles, 6 hrs 30 mins) 

Day 3 – Brugge to Rotterdam (88 miles, 8 hrs) 

Day 4 - Rotterdam to Apeldoorn (80 miles, 7 hrs) 

Day 5 - Apeldoorn to Osnabruck (99 miles 9 hrs) 

Day 6 - Osnabruck to Bremen (79 miles, 7 hrs) 

Day 7 - Bremen to Rundsberg (103 miles, 9 hrs 30 mins) 

Day 8 - Rundsberg to Kolding (92 miles, 8 hrs 30 mins)

Day 9 - Kolding to Viborg (78 miles, 7 hrs 30 mins), before getting the ferry to Gothenberg

Rest day in Gothenberg

Day 11 - Gothenberg to Kville (84.5 miles, 8 hrs) 

Day 12 - Kville to Fuglevik (83 miles, 7 hrs)

Day 13 - Fuglevik to Oslo Uni Hospital (44 miles, 4 hrs) to thank the nurses who saved my life and cared for me. Oslo Uni Hospital to The Norway Cup Opening Ceremony at Ekeberg (5.6 miles, 30 mins)

They will be raising money for the Children’s Intensive Care Unit (Barneintensiv Ullevål) of Oslo Universitetssykehus that cared for me during my time at the hospital and allowed me to return home, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Bedfordshire Referee Association who have supported me since the accident and will use any money raised to help fund referee courses for female referees who struggle financially . The donations will ensure more babies and children on the ICU in Oslo and at Great Ormond Street go home safely to their parents and to help young boys and girls get everything they want from refereeing.

I have been very fortunate in my situation and was lucky enough to have been in the biggest trauma unit in Europe where they specialise in spleen injuries. My injury was something new to them from the perspective of the damage that can be caused from a football to the abdomen and was more akin to a major road traffic accident. It’s been said several times if we had left it a few more hours to seek more medical advice or if I had tried to sleep off the injury as first advised it would have been fatal and I wouldn’t be writing this and wouldn’t have come home to my parents or my sister. 

This experience has been emotionally exhausting, scary and probably the hardest thing I have ever faced in my 18 years. Will I continue to referee? I hope so, but it’s a journey that I must take slowly as I’m scared it could happen again, but I’m determined to give it my all to be the best I can be, doing something I love.  

Dean will also be riding London 2 Brighton on June 16th as part of his preparation

 If you can then please can I ask you to: 

 Donate blood as people that I will never meet donated their blood that helped save my life! 

 Donate here to my dad and Dean’s crazy challenge! 

 Thank you for taking the time to read my post, please ensure you tell the people you love that you love them! Life is short and as I nearly found out; it can be taken from you at any time. 

Ella x

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  • Ella Squires6 months ago
    Ella Squires

    Ella Squires

    6 months ago

    Logo design!

    Update from the Page owner

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  • Ella Squires7 months ago
    Ella Squires

    Ella Squires

    7 months ago

    Check out our new website that has been created for the Charity cycle ride… 🚲

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  • Ella Squires7 months ago
    Ella Squires

    Ella Squires

    7 months ago

    We have updated our poster!

    Update from the Page owner

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10 months ago

Ella Squires started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 7/22/2024 14.57



  • Alan and Pat Parker

    Alan and Pat Parker

    Jul 22, 2024

    Well done to the cyclists and good luck to Ella in her recovery.


  • Great British Railway Adventure

    Great British Railway Adventure

    Jul 22, 2024

    Good luck to you all and keep it going. You are doing fantastic!


  • Alex Neil and Lucy

    Alex Neil and Lucy

    Jul 21, 2024

    Amazing ride, wonderful cause.

  • Cambs Ref

    Cambs Ref

    Jul 21, 2024



  • Simon Andrews

    Simon Andrews

    Jul 21, 2024

    I dont know you but neither will you know the people you'll be helping. Best of luck to all involved.


  • Mark T

    Mark T

    Jul 21, 2024

    Good luck! A really great cause


  • Bob Fitzsimmons

    Bob Fitzsimmons

    Jul 21, 2024


Ella Squires

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Ella Squires

Ella Squires


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