The organisers of the crowdfunding page that paid for the search for Emiliano Sala have urged people to back the initiative to find his pilot.

David Ibbotson is still missing, presumed dead, after a private plane carrying him and Cardiff’s record signing crashed into the English Channel near Guernsey last month.

After the official search ended, a privately-funded operation was set up to continue efforts and the wreckage of the flight was discovered last week.

Authorities then took over, with Sala’s body being recovered, but they were unable to continue operating due to poor conditions.

The family of Mr Ibbotson, 59, of Lincolnshire, subsequently launched their own private appeal.

By Monday evening, £166,419 of the £300,000 target had been raised with donations including a £27,000 payment from ‘Elie Lottin’, thought to be France World Cup star Kylian Mbappe Lottin. Former England striker and broadcaster Gary Lineker also donated £1,000.

Organisers of the Sala fund linked from their own page, writing: “We are in solidarity with their cause, and wish them the peace to which they aspire in these difficult times.”

This was included in an update on their own efforts, which read: “We would like to thank you one last time for this outpouring of generosity and unique solidarity, which will have brought us some light in a very dark period.”