A CAMBRIDGE United fan who was left in coma following a brutal beating nearly a year ago is finally set to leave hospital.

Simon Dobbin, 43, of Mildenhall, Suffolk, suffered brain damage after being attacked in East Street, Southend following his side’s 0-0 draw with Southend United last March.

He remains at a neurological rehabilitation centre at the Colman Hospital, in Norwich, and despite his wife, Nicole, hoping to have him home soon, his condition has regressed in recent months.

Following the violent scenes that marred the Blues’ Essex derby victory over Colchester United earlier this month, Mrs Dobbin has again called for an end to football-related violence.

She said: “After I heard about what happened at Roots Hall I just couldn’t believe it.

“Is this never going to end?

“Do people want to see others in the same situation that Simon and his family are in now?

“Simon is alive but doesn't have a life since those thugs took it away from him. I will stand by him and give him all the love, support and care he needs but our lives have completely changed forever.”

Following last year’s attack Mr Dobbin was rushed to Southend Hospital in a coma.

He was subsequently transferred to Bury St Edmunds and then Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, before moving to Norwich in July.

His wife Nicole and daughter Emily has been heartened to hear him laugh, count and move his arms, but he has since ceased communicating.

Mrs Dobbin added: “Simon is still being fed through a tube and needs 24-hour care.

“He can’t move his legs or hands and he is not communicating with anybody. It is heart breaking to see him go from the man he was to what he is now, it’s just devastating.

“He was talking and laughing but he is not anymore, he’s trying but nothing is coming out.

“I personally think he is depressed so hopefully when he comes home he will make some improvements in his own surroundings.”


Mr Dobbin in hospital with daughter Emily and wife Nicole

Mrs Dobbin is now hoping to raise money for the equipment needed to kit out their home for her husband and will be completing a 12-mile walk on March 20 to mark the anniversary of the attack.

The walk, starting at the Half Moon pub in Kingsway, Mildenhall, is being organised by Craig Watt, a friend of Mr Dobbin’s, who hopes to raise £20,000.

Mr Watt said: “I have known the family as close friends for many years.

“Nicole looked after my eldest daughter when my youngest was born.

“I have known her all her life and this family do not deserve this.”

A total of 17 arrests have been made in the police investigation so far.

One suspect is due to answer police bail today (Thursday), three have been released and face no further action and 13 have been released from bail but a report has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration.

To donate to the cause, visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Craig-watt