A FOOTBALLER feared paralysed when he was attacked outside a nightclub has taken his first steps.

Billericay Town goalkeeper Nicky Morgan, 26, was left with serious injuries when his head slammed into a kerb after he was attacked outside the famed Sugar Hut nightclub in Brentwood at the end of October last year.

However, just three months on Nicky is now taking his first steps in his rehabilitation and can now walk in the swimming pool during his hydrotherapy sessions at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

He has been at the specialist centre for just four weeks, but already his body has come on leaps and bounds.

He said: “The body is a funny thing and it can sometimes tease you. In the last two weeks I have seen massive improvements in my rehabilitation and so much mobility has come back to my body.

“Everyone has said I look so much better and more myself. My legs are getting stronger, but you have got to take one day at a time because there is the chance you could lose all the progress you have made.

“My goal is to walk out of here, but if not, then I will adapt.

“I set myself little goals each day and that keeps me positive. My next one is to pick up a cup of tea on my own.”

Nicky says he felt scared after being moved from Queen’s Hospital to Stoke Mandeville, but he now has full feeling back in his arms and legs, has stood up in the hospital gym with some help and is back in touch with his friends and family as he has started using his iPhone and iPad.

He is also able to pick up and grip objects with his fingers, feed himself and move back and forth in his new wheelchair.

He said: “The wheelchair has made a big difference and I’ve been whizzing around the corridors getting used to it like a little kid.”

Nicky also enjoyed his first evening out with 13 friends on Saturday to the Prezzo restaurant in Aylesbury.

Nicky, a former lorry driver and part time footballer, is working hard in his physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions to regain his mobility.

This week he will also start patient education classes where he will talk about his injuries with hospital staff.

Nicky added: “I’ve made sure I’ve kept up my positive attitude and have made good relationships with the nurses and staff.

“The sessions do tire me out, but when you make improvements it does feel good, it gives me confidence. Every day I am taking little steps.”

Nicky was living in Loughton at the time of attack.

He said: “I would love to play football again, but that thought is at the back of my mind at the moment.

“I'm not even sure if I will be able to walk again let alone kick a football. I will concentrate on the walking first.”