A talented teenage footballer who has adored the game for 10 years and aspires to be a future Lioness is appealing for help to fund knee surgery following a freak accident.

Haslingden High School student Miriam Aliouane plays for Bolton Wanderers Girls Football Club and was in a match against a boys’ team on 3G artificial turf in November when her accident happened.

The 14-year-old said: “There was a boy running away with the ball so I went to tackle him and my foot planted into the artificial grass and then my knee gave way and I blacked out. When I woke up, I was in so much pain.”

A hospital misdiagnosis saw her back in training seven weeks later, only for her knee to give way while she was running and an MRI scan at the Royal Blackburn Hospital revealed the extent of her injury.

She had torn her anterior cruciate ligament, torn and sprained her medial collateral ligament and also damaged her lateral collateral ligament, these control the forwards and backwards motion of the knee.

Her mum Karen Kirkham, from Haslingden, said: “The consultant at the hospital has informed us that due to her age, he cannot give her any treatment and in Lancashire there are no paediatric surgeons who can treat this niche area.”

As a result, Karen has sought private treatment and is now appealing for help to raise the £9,000 that will be needed to pay for the operation and follow-up physiotherapy.

She said: “I am a single mum with three children and cannot afford to pay the whole amount privately for her so I am hoping to raise the funds to help pay the majority of the surgery and rehab so that she can get back onto the playing field and back on the path to her dreams of becoming a Lioness in the future.”

Miriam said: “My operation will be on the week beginning March 18 at Spire Hospital in Manchester by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Anand. We have already raised nearly £5,000.

“I am now not in a lot of pain and I am having lots of physio. Every day I am doing strengthening exercises for 20 minutes because I don’t have full extension of my leg at the moment and I need that before the operation.

“When I finish the exercises my knee swells and reddens, it burns and is hot to the touch. I just want to get back to training and be able to play football again.”

Before the accident, Miriam was due to attend trials for Manchester City and was hoping to be accepted on the England Lionesses Pathway.

After the operation, it will be at least nine months before she is fully-fit and able to return to play for Bolton, Lancashire, Rossendale District and the school’s team.

She said: “I first started playing football when I was four with Burnley Football Club mini-kickers. When I was in year two, Phil White from Rossendale Valley Football Club put me on the boys’ team; I was the only girl and I just loved it.

“From there I played for Junior Hoops, Great Harwood, Blackburn Rovers Academy, Accrington Stanley Women’s team and now I am at Bolton. I am also in my first season playing for Lancashire U14s.

“I usually train Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays and play matches on Saturday and Sundays. As I am the captain at Bolton, I still attend every match but I sit on the side of the pitch.”

To support Miriam’s appeal visit www.gofundme.com and search 'Karen Kirkham'.