Mildenhall FC host charity football match for Simon Dobbin after he was attacked by football hooligans
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds attended a match in support of a “loving” family man from Mildenhall, who was nearly killed after a “vicious” attack by football hooligans.
Held yesterday at the home of Mildenhall Town FC, the event was raising money for the family of Simon Dobbin. 41, who was left in a coma after he was “ambushed” and beaten on the way home from a Southend United FC versus Cambridge United FC match last week, on March 21.
The father-of-three, nicknamed Dobbo, is still in a critical condition, with his wife Nicole Dobbin saying they are not sure if he will survive.
Speaking about the match, dubbed #PlayForDobbo, Nicole said: “The response is overwhelming, I know Simon is popular, but I had no idea he had this many friends.”
Sunday’s event came after an online campaign, set up by Simon’s niece, went viral, raising over £9,000 for the family so far.
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“The money means we don’t have to worry about anything other than Simon,” she said. “I do work, but I only get paid if I am at work, so it means a lot.
“We can go down to visit Simon, who is in Addenbrooke’s (Hospital) now, without having to worry whether we can afford it.”
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The match was organised by Daniel Hererra, who played at Mildenhall Town with Simon many years ago. Players from Beck Row FC, where Simon was club secretary, also supported the event.
Nicole added: “It is a fantastic turnout. Simon loves football, he is a Liverpool fan, but living down here, he supports Cambridge as well.
“To support him in this way, it shows what football is really about. What happened to Simon, we don’t hold against the clubs, it was a group of vicious thugs.
“Both teams (Cambridge and Southend) have contacted us and they are devastated, as we all are. The care from the hospitals has been fantastic. Everyone has been very supportive, Essex Police have been keeping us informed.”
Nicole, who works for Kentford Manor care home, in Newmarket, said she would not wish what happened to Simon on anyone.
“He was just going to have a good day out at the football,” she said. “You shouldn’t have to wonder whether someone will make it home from a football match.
“He was ambushed, from what I heard. He didn’t even have a chance to fight back. Simon is a gentle giant, such a loving and kind person who would talk to anyone.”
Essex Police are still investigating the incident which happened at 7.20pm, on East Street, with a 33-year-old man from Southend and a 23-year-old man from Westcliff arrested and bailed on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.
Proceeds from the food, programmes, bucket donations, T-shirt sales and a range of other stalls at the match are all going to support the family.