A WOMAN whose memories of Southend have been ruined by a horrific attack insists she does not think badly of all Southend fans.

Nicole Dobbin, the wife of Cambridge United fan Simon Dobbin who was left with permanent injuries, is campaigning for those responsible to pay for his medical bills.

It comes after figures revealed 15 Southend United fans have banning orders including 12 who were responsible for the attack.

Nicole, 48, has seen her petition top more than 26,000.

She wants violent offenders to contribute towards the cost of care for their victims rather than the burden falling on the NHS and taxpayers.

Speaking to the Echo she said: “It does give football fans a bad name, and it is a shame because that is now my only thought of Southend.

“If I talk to my mum, she remembers going to the seaside as a child and has positive memories.

“For me, I can only think about the attack and Southend will only ever hold awful memories.

“But not all football fans or all Southend fans should be tarred with the same brush.

“They - those who attacked him - are not football fans, but at the same time, you never hear about incidents like this relating to other sports.”

Nicole is confident her petition will reach the 100,000 goal.

The assault left Simon with catastrophic injuries and to this day he is unable to walk or talk and requires round the clock care and support.

Following the incident, 12 people were jailed, but to date just three remain in prison, while the Dobbin family continue to deal with the day to day care Simon needs.

The petition was launched last month, and has gained a huge amount of traction so far.

Nicole wants to introduce Simon’s Law to force lifelong payments to the NHS by those convicted of violent disorder.

Nicole said: “We have a long way to go, but we are a quarter of the way there and it is giving us a lot of confidence.

“We have a tracker, so as well as seeing how many signatures we have, we can see that more than 100,000 people have now viewed the petition, so we are getting the attention - we just need everyone to sign.

“We sit and read all the comments people leave, it is heartwarming to know that people do support us. I think it is a petition, and a cause, that everyone can get behind.”

Nicole’s petition received more than 13,000 signatures in less than a week after it was launched.

“At the end of the day, it probably cost thousands of pounds to keep Simon alive and it’s costing hundreds of thousands of pounds for his care for the rest of his life,” Nicole added.

“I don’t think people understand the damage they caused – the pictures don’t show the full extent of Simon’s injuries.”

The assault left RAF veteran Simon with hypoxic brain damage, meaning he is unable to walk, talk or move independently.

He was on life-support for months and hospital for a year after the attack.

Nicole said the law would be a “constant reminder” for the men jailed. Visit www.change.org/p/houses-of-parliament-simon-s-law