Mansfield Town fan launches fundraising campaign for Simon Dobbin
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 23 January 2019
A football fan has launched a fundraising campaign to allow a man who was brutally attacked and left brain-damaged after a match to watch his team play from his home.
Loving husband and father Simon Dobbin, from Mildenhall, was set-upon by around 25 men after watching his team Cambridge United play away at Southend United in March 2015.
Following months in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Mr Dobbin returned home but the vicious attack left him brain damaged, paralysed, unable to walk or talk and needing round-the-clock care.
Nick Knowles and BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build team visited Mr Dobbin’s home over ten days in November 2017 to transform the Mildenhall father’s house, which was unfit for his needs.
MORE: Family of Simon Dobbin ‘utterly overwhelmed’ after DIY SOS offers to rebuild Mildenhall home
An appeal was made for local tradesmen to come forward and the community responded with more than 100 people taking part in the renovation.
The work included a bedroom, physio space, wet room, and social space, with downstairs and outdoor access for Mr Dobbin in his wheelchair.
After the episode featuring Mr Dobbin aired last week, Mansfield Town fan Sean Revill launched a JustGiving page with the aim of raising £600 for a new 50inch television and a two-year subscription to online streaming service iFollow.
The subscription will allow Mr Dobbin to watch Cambridge United games from the comfort of his transformed home.
The fundraising campaign reached its target in around 24 hours and has now raised more than £1,400.
“Anyone watching DIY SOS? Simon went to a match only to be attacked and now is paralysed,” Mr Revill said on the crowdfunding page.
“Just got me thinking how he went home and away following his club and now can’t do it.”
MORE: Twelve men jailed over attack which left Suffolk’s Simon Dobbin with brain damage after Southend vs Cambridge match
The group of 13 men convicted for the brutal attack were jailed for more than 42 years in total at Basildon Crown Court in July 2017.
Speaking on the day of the group’s sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “On March 21, 2015, the individuals convicted today acted together as a pack of animals.
“Within minutes a thoroughly decent man was left with a devastating brain injury.”
A charity match for Mr Dobbin is taking place at Ely City FC on Sunday, May 12, with ex-professional footballers and fans taking on an Arsenal charity team.