The wife and daughter of the pilot who was flying the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala have said they will never stop searching for him.

In an emotional interview this morning, David Ibbotson’s wife Nora said: ‘He’s dead, we know that – but we just want him home.’

Mr Ibbotson, 59, is still missing after the plane, which was flying the Argentine footballer from Nantes to Cardiff, crashed in the English Channel.

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Sala’s body was recovered from the wreckage after a privately-funded search found the plane on February 4.

A fundraising campaign to restart the search for Mr Ibbotson has already raised more than £140,000.

This morning, Nora told Good Morning Britain: ‘We’re a close family, we were a good unit together and that’s another reason why we’re doing this because of David.

‘He was a brilliant husband who supported us all. He was our rock.

‘We just want to know that, we can’t leave him out there on his own.

‘Until we’ve tried to do everything we can, this is why we’ve done the appeal – for some help to guide us.’

A fundraising page has been set up asking for donations to restart a search for the pilot of the plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala which crashed into the English Channel. Sala's body was recovered and formally identified earlier this week but David Ibbotson, who was flying the light aircraft, has not been found. A Go Fund Me page has so far raised more than ?13,000. A message on the site reads:

Gary Lineker and Kylian Mbappe have donated money to help find David Ibbotson (Picture: gofundme)

The pilot missing after his plane is thought to have crashed carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala has been identified as Dave Ibbotson from Northern Lincolnshire. Mr Ibbotson, an experienced private pilot from Crowle near Scunthorpe, is missing along with Sala after their plane vanished flying from the French city of Nantes to Wales where he had just signed for Cardiff City. caption: Dave Ibbotson

The pilot is still missing after his plane crashed in the English Channel (Picture: BPM Media)

The pilot missing after his plane is thought to have crashed carrying Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala has been identified as Dave Ibbotson from Northern Lincolnshire. Mr Ibbotson, an experienced private pilot from Crowle near Scunthorpe, is missing along with Sala after their plane vanished flying from the French city of Nantes to Wales where he had just signed for Cardiff City. caption: Dave Ibbotson

Mr Ibbotson’s family have said they will not stop until he is found (Picture: BPM Media)

David’s daughter Danielle bravely fought back tears as she spoke of the moment police told the family the plane had gone missing off the coast of Guernsey.

She said: ‘The police let us know, we all then had to go home and be told. Which is what you never want.

‘I was sat there ringing my dad, you know? As if, “It’s not my dad”.’

Danielle said her father would not give up looking for her if she was missing, so she would not give up on him.

‘If you’ve got hope then you shouldn’t give up,’ she said. ‘He wouldn’t stop searching for me.’

Missing footballer Emiliano Sala. Missing footballer Emiliano Sala?s sister broke down in tears yesterday as she begged rescuers: ?Please don?t give up searching for my brother ? I know he is still alive.? Romina Sala?s plea came after the search for Cardiff City?s ?15million Argentine signing, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 60, who went missing on a flight over the English Channel on Monday, was called off. Guernsey?s harbour master Cpt David Barker said the chances the pair had survived were ?extremely remote? and the ?difficult decision? to end the search had been taken. (Picture: Emiliano Sala/Instagram)

Emiliano Sala’s body was found in the wreckage of the plane on February 4 (Picture: Emiliano Sala/Instagram)

A stretcher carrying a body is removed from the Geo Ocean III specialist search vessel docked in Portland, Dorset which has brought back a body recovered from the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 7, 2019. The aircraft remains 67 metres underwater 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel as poor weather conditions stopped efforts to recover it. See PA story AIR Channel. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

A stretcher carrying Sala’s body is removed from the Geo Ocean III specialist search vessel docked in Portland, Dorset (Picture: PA)

AAIB photo showing the found aircraft tail of N264DB. See SWNS story SWPLplane - Latest on hunt for missing footballer Emiliano Sala after wreckage from his plane is found. A recovery operation is likely to begin tomorrow (Tues) if the wreckage of Emiliano Sala's plane is visually identified later today, rescuers have confirmed. The aircraft carrying the Cardiff City footballer was discovered 'almost intact' in the English Channel on Sunday following a privately-funded search. The Piper Malibu N264DB was initially lost on 21 January on its way from Nantes, France, to Cardiff, with the Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson on board. Accident investigators are expected to send a submersible to inspect the wreckage later on today (Monday) and look at the best way to retrieve it. However, any actual attempt to recover the plane is likely to not start until tomorrow morning (Tues) due to the rough and windy weather conditions around the Channel Islands.

Search teams recorded underwater footage to identify the plane after the wreckage site was discovered (Picture: SWNS)

A web page raising funds to continue the search for Mr Ibbotson was set up on Friday.

A donation under the name of broadcaster and former footballer Gary Lineker of £1,000 is registered on the page, which he shared with his 7.2 million Twitter followers on Saturday.

A £27,000 donation under the name Elie Lottin, apparently made by France’s World Cup winning footballer Kylian Sanmi Mbappe Lottin, is also registered.

The page has a fundraising target of £300,000.

A message on the site reads: ‘Please help bring David Ibbotson home and help give him the send off he deserves.

Missing soccer star Emiliano Sala booked his own

Mr Ibbotson’s wife described him as their ‘rock’ (Picture: Wales news service)

Emiliano Sala's sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes (centre) listen to Blue Water Recoveries director David Mearns talk about plans to find and recover the plane carrying the missing footballer and pilot David Ibbotson which disappeared over the English Channel, during a press conference at Guernsey airport. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 28, 2019. The family of Emiliano Sala are

Emiliano Sala’s sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes (centre) paid for a privately funded search of the Channel by Blue Water Recoveries after the official search was called off (Picture: PA)

‘As a family we are relying on the kindness of the good hearted people to help us raise the much needed funds to help us find our beloved Dad, Husband and Son.

‘As a family we are trying to come to terms with the tragedy and the loss of two incredible men.

‘To be told the search has now been called off for the foreseeable future has only made this tragic time more difficult.

‘We can not bear the thought of him being alone, we need him home so that we are able to lay him to rest.’

Sala’s body was recovered in a privately funded search, which was launched after the initial search was called off three days after the men and their plane went missing.

Although Mr Ibbotson, of Crowle, Lincolnshire, has not been located, poor weather conditions meant a ‘difficult decision was taken to bring the overall operation to a close’, a spokesman for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said on Wednesday.

The aircraft remains underwater in the English Channel.

The GoFundMe campaign for David Ibbotson is available here.



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